More than 100 farmers participated in the Department of Agriculture - Regional Field Office (DA – RFO 9) RICE Program Information Caravan in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs) in Payao, Buug, and Imelda recently. The Rice Commodity Program Information caravan aims to promote the agricultural developments in the DA.

“The DA with our attached agencies is mandated to help and empower the farming communities and the private sector to produce enough, accessible and affordable food. Our goal is to generate jobs and livelihood for a decent income for everyone,” said Ana Aying, Agricultural Program Coordinator (APCO) for Zamboanga del Norte and Agri-Credit Officer who represented Regional Director Constancio Alama during the InfoCar.

 

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) area coordinator, Rock Diamante assured the flood farmer victims can claim for damages on condition that they have (1) valid insurance claim, (2) informed the office at the earliest time from the time of discovery of the damage before harvest, and (3) active crop insurance protection.

Desiree Dompales of the DA RICE Program relayed to the farmers the four factors for productive rice farming which are seeds, mechanization, irrigation, and credit insurance. Dompales also informed farmers of the DA Rice Farm Mechanization program for a minimal loss and cost reduction in rice production.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) presented updates of their programs and activities during the activity.

Moreover, among the most discussed topic is the new program introduced by the Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol about the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC). Sec. Pinol directed ACPC to organize loan facilitation teams in every province. DA – ACPC IX Agri Credit Officer Ana Aying informed farmers about the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA), and Survival Recovery (SURE) assistance program.

The Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) facility is a special credit program designed to address the financial needs of marginal and small farmers and fisherfolk for a fast, convenient and affordable credit. It offers non – collateralized loans for agri – fishery production through cooperative banks, cooperatives, farmers, and fisherfolk organizations and non – government organizations (NGOs) as credit delivery conduits in extending loans to marginal and small farmers and fisherfolk.

Farmers and fishers classified as marginal and small farmers and fisherfolk registered under the Juan Magsasaka’t Mangingisda National Database system or Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) are eligible to transact a loan.

Eligible farmer/ fisherfolk borrowers can avail themselves of up to 50, 000.00 depending on the agri – fishery production project to be financed. Only on member of the household can avail of a loan at a time. Household member can either be the head, spouse, or adult working member.

The interest rate is 6% per annum or 0.5 % per month. Interest is not deducted in advance from the loan. The loan is payable within a period ranging from two (2) up to ten (10) years depending on the commodity or the activity the loan applicants is involved with.

Insurable agri – fishery commodities financed under the PLEA may be covered with crop insurance by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC). (ICabeguin/ DA9)

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