DA aims to fast track funds release to assist farmers, fishermen

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Emmanuel F. Piñol
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol -- PHILSTAR

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing to fast track the shift from providing subsidies to easy-access financing to hasten the development in the agriculture sector.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said this also includes the formation of provincial loan facilitation teams to assist farmers and fishermen.

“We don’t want to experience again the situation where there were enough funds but it’s hard for the farmers and the fisherfolk to access because they were not assisted by competent teams,” he added.

“So this time around, we will train them on financial literacy, we will assist them in their loan documents and I want to it to happen that the farmer will just head to the [provincial facilitation office] and simply just sign the document.”

The LandBank of the Philippines, which controls the fund, currently has P4 billion in its coffer.

The loaning program can dole out as much as P1 million per individual and P5 million for associations and cooperatives. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato