- The Department of Agriculture will offer a ‘one-time cash subsidy to farmers
- The subsidy scheme is an expansion of DA’s Survival and Recovery credit program
- The project extends zero interest to beneficiaries
The Department of Agriculture (DA) will soon extend a one-time cash subsidy to farmers who are directly affected by the continuous drop of the buying price of palay.
This came as a result of the passage of the rice import liberalization law last February, as per an Inquirer story. Accordingly, the project is an expansion of the DA’s Survival and Recovery (SURE) credit program wherein approval for funding was obtained from the Department of Finance.
The agriculture department’s SURE program extends zero interest credit to farmers and fisherfolk affected by natural and man-made calamities. The maximum loanable amount is P25,000.
“We don’t have any range yet (for the cash assistance)… We’re still planning and discussing it, but this has already been approved,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar was quoted saying in an interview.
Moreover, Dar disclosed that agencies concerned will meet to craft the implementing guidelines for the proposed cash subsidy scheme.
Under the DA’s proposal, the SURE program coverage will be expanded to cover rice farmers su
ffering from the continuing drop in palay prices. Current rates are barely enough to cover production cost of P12 a kilo, as revealed by the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura.
In another story by Manila Bulletin it was noted that the drop in palay prices has resulted to a huge loss for farmers which was estimated to have reached P40 billion within the first half of the year alone. Allegedly, things could even become worst in the next five months which we ardently hope won’t happen.
Hence, the agriculture department stressed that the expansion of SURE will at least augment the burden of the marginalized farmers and fisherfolk. This would somehow ease the sectors’ worries over loan sharks and lending institutions.