TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced that the national government will be downloading to a capable credit cooperative or rural bank an initial amount of P50 million to be given to farmers from the province in the form of soft loans to help them improve their production.
Piñol, who visited the province to have a dialogue with farmers, said the initial funds to be made available to them through soft loans will be under the government’s Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) which is geared to provide farmers with the needed capital for them to have better productivity.
Under the PLEA, each farmer could avail of maximum loan of P50,000 with an annual interest of 6 percent and with a grace period of two years for rice farmers and 6 years for coffee growers.
However, the agriculture official said the farmers must be able to present proper identification cards showing that they are farmers with the assistance of the regional and provincial agriculture offices who will subject the farmers to geo-tagging among other means to establish and monitor their identity.
Engr. Domingo Bakilan, Kalinga provincial agriculturist, said the downloading of funds which could be availed by farmers through low interest loans is a welcome development considering the fact that many farmers really need sufficient capital to help improve their production for the various cropping seasons.
“Our farmers were impressed on the support being infused by the national government to help them improve their production. We hope that we will be able to implement the program once the funds will be downloaded to the accredited credit cooperative or rural bank so that they will be able to realize better production in future cropping seasons,” Bakilan stressed.
While it will be difficult for them to come out with a database of the farmers who will be qualified to avail of the loan, Bakilan claimed the inventory and geo-tagging of the farmers will be undertaken by both the regional and provincial agriculture offices so that the noble program of the government will be fully implemented in the province.
The provincial agriculturist said provincial officials and farmers were grateful to Secretary Piñol for prioritizing Kalinga as one of the first provinces to be granted the funds that will be made available to farmers through soft loans because the province’s agriculture sector will surely get a big boost in the future.
Gov. Jocel C. Baac expressed confidence that the national government will continue formulating new programs beneficial to the farmers to help spice up the country’s agriculture sector that will have a significant effect to the gross domestic product and uplift the living condition of the people in the countryside.
Kalinga is considered to be the region’s rice granary because it is the major source of rice due to the presence of vast tracks of rice farms, especially in the low-lying communities like Tabuk City, Rizal and Pinukpuk.
By HENT http://baguioheraldexpressonline.com