DA allots P400M for farm equipment loan
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has opened a new loan program called Agriculture and Fisheries Machinery and Equipment (AFME) with an initial fund of P400 million.
“Farmers and fishermen’s associations and cooperatives could now easily borrow money from government to buy farm tractors and other machinery while fishermen could buy ice-making equipment at 2 percent interest every year payable in 8 years,” Piñol said.
Piñol said the first beneficiaries of this loan program would be a group of fishermen from Salay, Misamis Oriental, who applied for a P10-million loan so they could buy a 20-ton fishing boat, an ice-making equipment and a refrigerated truck to bring their catch to the market.
The others are farmers’ associations who would like to buy a complete set of agricultural machinery like tractors, transplanters and harvesters so they could act as the service providers in their towns.
Piñol said about 100 fishermen’s associations have also applied for loans to buy ice-flakes making equipment and cold storage so they could reduce their post-harvest losses estimated at about 40 percent of their catch and allow them to bring their produce to the market.
The AFME is the latest variant of the DA’s Easy Access Credit Program, which allows agriculture and fisheries stakeholders to borrow money without the usual hassles and stringent requirements of the banks.
While the loans will be released through established government banks, cooperative banks, rural banks and reliable cooperatives, these will be governed by guidelines set by the ACPC aimed at facilitating access to credit for greater productivity and less post-harvest losses.