Grant and zero interest loans for young agripreneurs

By Zac B. Sarian

If you have a viable idea that you can pursue, the Department of Agriculture will give you a grant of P500,000. Yes, that’s free! This one is for upstarts, one of three new financing programs that the DA launched in January 2020 to encourage young people to put up agricultural enterprises. Any determined aspiring farmer is eligible for the grant. No educational qualification is required. What is important is that he has the passion and focus to pursue his idea. He will be coached by a mentor to make sure he will succeed.

The second funding scheme is called the Youth Entrepreneurship Loan Program, for folks 18 to 30 years old. Participants can borrow P500,000 with zero interest and no collateral, payable in five years. Participants should be serious in pursuing their own projects. Mentors will coach them so they will be able to achieve their targets.

The third program is the Micro and Small Entrepreneurship Loan Program for those who already have existing agri-projects. Under the program, the participant can borrow
from P300,000 to as much as P15 million, depending on the requirements of the project. This will be interest-free and no collateral is needed. The loan is payable in five years.

Young agripreneur Bro. George Maria, 23, went out of the seminary after eight years to do his own brand of
farming. He is presently the vice president for community affairs of Yamang Bukid Farm in Palawan.

Agriculture Sec. William Dar said that those who would want to avail themselves of the financing programs will undergo a strict selection process to make sure the beneficiaries will not falter. The programs are implemented nationwide. Our young aspiring agri-preneurs should take advantage of the new initiative of the Department of Agriculture to encourage young blood to go into farming as an honest-to-goodness business. The funds are under the ACPC, or Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

Back to the P500,000 grant. The grant is for young upstarts who are determined and serious to get into farming as a business. There is no educational attainment required. So better think of possible projects now so you could be among the first to receive the grant. Make sure you have a viable, sustainable and environment-friendly project.

Now, let us think of some of the characteristics of the project so that it will become profitable. The first question to ask is: What are the products that are in demand but which there are not enough supply? One example is ubi or purple yam. The Good Shepherds of Baguio are always in need of ubi for their jam and other products. One food processor from Marikina also tells us that they don’t have enough supply of the purple root crop.

Another farm product that big time processors of herbal products need in big volume is the native ginger, which has a distinct flavor from the Hawaiian hybrid in the market. There must be many other commodities that are in short supply which could be produced by the aspiring agripreneur.

Another question to consider is: Does the product you have in mind have a long shelf life? This means it is not perishable. One example is black pepper. The peppercorn can be stored for long periods.

Consider also the competition. Too much competition can cause drastic price changes in the market. Are you ready to compete? Do you know some cost-cutting techniques and ways to improve your product?

Of course, it is also very important that the crop you are going to produce is adapted to the local environment where you grow your crops or farm animals.

Ubi production could be a project for agripreneurs because it is in demand by processors.

Can you popularize something new in the market? Something you believe that has a potential market in the Philippines? One example is the Key lime, which can provide a special flavor to desserts like Key lime pie and other baked products, refreshing juice drinks, sauces for grilled fish and meat, flavorings for vodka, and others. These are just random thoughts that can be helpful. Surely, there are many more to consider.

In my post in my blog on January 20, 2020, I wrote the following two paragraphs at the end of the story to show what I would use the P500,000 grant for in case I got it.

“By the way, somebody asked me. If I were to be given the grant of P500,000 what project will I undertake? Well, there are many choices but what I have in mind now is this. If I have a two-hectare farm in my hometown, I would go for sheep as my flagship product. I will buy an initial 10 females that are ready to breed or are already pregnant. And I will add a couple of rams. This is considered starting small. Yes, that’s what I like. I will expand slowly but surely.

“I will invest in a water system that works. That will ensure production of forage and other cash crops that will help sustain the project. My long-term vision is to end up having the most number of sheep in my province. The strategy is to keep on increasing the population systematically. I will not sell any of the young females for future breeding. I will sell only the males and the proceeds will be used to buy more female breeders. I will upgrade my stocks through the purchase of improved blood.”

Now, I am imagining what my project would have become five years after I got the grant. By this time, I would have about 500 sheep. That’s possible because I am continually adding new breeding stock to my flock. By that time, people might be calling me the Sheep King in my province or even in the region. People who would like to start their own sheep projects will likely come to me for their requirements or for advice.

If the author were to choose his flagship project, he would pick sheep for a number of good reasons.

A few years later, I am imagining that the Department of Agriculture will be ordering from me a lot of male and female sheep for their dispersal program. I am also imagining that I will hire an expert in making “litson tupa” which we will cater to people holding special events like reunions, birthdays, anniversaries, and more.

By that time, I would be considered a hands-on expert in sheep raising and I could hold paid seminars for additional income. There would be so many opportunities that I could take. And all that started with the R500,000 grant for upstarts from the Department of Agriculture.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s March 2020 issue. 

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  1. Raising Native pigs in Giporlos Eastern Samar, without buying commercial feeds, feeds only with local crop and azolla. It needs help financially for proper fencing. Native pigs will be raised not by housing but ranges where the land will be planted with camote an other native crop and leaves as feeds. I wish this letter will call anebodies attention.

    1. Hi Chris,

      My parents are from Marinduque of which native pigs are known. My husband and I are OFW and we wanted to try any business that is beneficial as well for the community. I am very interested to know more about Native Pig business

  2. i want to avail that Agri-Loan,, how could I avail, requirements and process

    1. Hello!

      Kindly ask your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

      1. I want to avail that Agri-Loan. How could I avail, requirements and process.
        Hoping for your soonest response.

        1. Please contact the Deaprtment of Agriculture for details. Thank you! 🙂

  3. Meron po ba s katulad qng bihasa sa pig farming for 16years sa work as veterinary technician .gusto ko sana simulan manok at baboy na business kaya lng po 38 years old na po ako.

    1. Hello!

      Kindly ask your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

  4. I am Danzel Gungon , i am 20 years old from Las Piñas City. Im so interested in this grant and zero interest loans for young agripreneurs, because we have a dragon fuit farm but we are still lack of funds to develope and improve our business. I hope that im one of the young agriprenuers that will be given help by our govenrment

    1. Hello!

      Kindly ask your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

  5. How can farmers avail of the grant or loans?

    1. Hello!

      Kindly ask your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

  6. Good day sir..ask kulang san kami lalapit sa landbank ,DBP or sa office ng D.A ng PROVINCE namin…tnx

    1. Hello!

      Kindly ask your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

      1. I have a very strategic place to put up a meat shop and meat processing in legaspi City, May I know who to talk to in Albay on how to apply of DA loan program.

        1. Hello! Please contact your local DA office for details. Good luck! 🙂

  7. How to avail this program? Im interested.

    1. Hello!

      Kindly ask your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

  8. Hi pwede po ba ako 42 years old ako lupa lang naman need ko and i want to avail a loan or grant to finance the land i want to plant my almost 300 seedlings of black pepper. im a teacher in profession but i love farming me and my husband thank you

    1. Hello!

      Kindly ask your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

  9. Hi I am.from the southern part of cebu, I have small poultry and layering business and I am not using feeds all I feed to my chickens are organic. I am struggling to expand my business due to lack of funds especially in investing to even for water supply. I meed help and I am interested to join this very helpful program. How can I avail?

    1. Hello!

      Kindly contact your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!





    1. Hello!

      Kindly contact your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

      1. I am a poultry contract grower with a existing 10k broiler on a conventional house. I want to expand and make it tunnel vent, can i a avail of the loan youre agency is offering for tje construction of a tunnel vent?

        1. Hello!

          Kindly contact your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

  11. How can i avail this? I am from region 9

    1. Hello!

      Kindly contact your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

  12. hello po,may mga pananim na po kami ngayon,which is talong,ampalaya,siling labuyo at sweet pepper po,pano po ba mag apply ng loan po,Im from Kananga,Leyte po,sana po matulungan nyo din po ako,..thank you and godbless!

    1. Hello!

      Kindly contact your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

  13. I am currently raising 600 heads of our very own Philippine native chickens. I would like to increase my production tp 3,000 heads monthly. But due to lack of funds I could not purchase 2 units of 500-capacity incubator setters, 1 unit of 500-capacity incubator hatcher, 1 unit of 3kva diesel generator engine, 1 unit of forage processor, and a 5-bagger agricultural feed mixer. I would like to avail of the loan program. How do I go about it?

    1. Please contact the DA for loan details. Thank you.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this information and useful ideas. We definitely need young agripreneurs amidst this crisis. My parents are currently helping me out. Of course, everything is on my own initiative and effort but they will just provide support — not financially though, but they will just provide to me land. What I am trying to say here is that, parents should help their kids even if they have done their part educating their kids going to school. Family is the basic unit of society. I believe there are lots of parents out their who have established themselves to go for retirement but it is also best to leave a foundation to their kids so that they will not struggle reaching to their success. Yes, you may say I am blessed but I also have my struggles and I am glad I was not raised spoiled.

    Utilizing the benefits of what the government will provide to us will help us regain our economy back and help our community as well. I cannot wait when this crisis is over. God bless us all.

  15. Good day! Pano mo malalaman ang ibang details ng program?

    1. Hello!

      Kindly contact your local DA or ATI for more information. Thank you!

  16. is this loan for the world? am in Nigeria and i believe that the world will love my idea

    1. Hello! This is only in the Philippines.

  17. My name is Jethro Tolak from PNG,
    I’m proposing a major Agribusiness Project development which cost me only US$4.5 million dollars…
    I do urgently require funding to establish this Agribusiness Project that focus on eradicating extreme rural poverty in every family units household….

    Currently we do need partnership in this Agribusiness Project for any Interested parties abroad….

    Please do WhatsApp me on +67578336206 / email

    Thanks very much indeed…

    1. Hello! Please contact the DA directly. Thank you.

  18. Good day.
    I already have 800 quails and another 300 sq.m. beside it. I want to expand for more production and I want to have a support technically and financially. Because I am making my own feeds manually…I want to avail of the grant.

    1. Please contact the DA directly, thank you.

  19. Goodnoon here in iloilo city, and may lupa po ako sa dongsol , may mga tanim na rin po ako ng mga fruits,special banana, at may mga alaga din po ako ng goats, pigs, chicken, at tilapia.ask ko po sana kung paano po ako maka avial ng tulong ninyo.para mas lalo ko pa po mapadami at mapaunlad ang taniman ko..

    1. Hello, po. Makipag-ugnayan po kayo sa Department of Agriculture ng lugar niyo. Salamay po.

  20. Im Michael Pandaog im pursuing goat farming for meat production.. i want to avail this opportunity.. but how please help us

    1. Please contact the DA office in your area for details. Good luck.

  21. I am brother Patrick kamau from ruona Catholic youth in Gacharage parish. We want support in starting planting 1500 banana plants.

    1. Hellp! Please contact the DA office in your area for details. Good luck!

  22. Sir, good morning ako po Emilio Gomez jr may lupa po ako sa probinsya namin mga 5 hectars po located at san roque mabini bohol gusto ko po magalaga ng mga hayop at magtanin ng mga crops at problima po wala akong pang puhunan ako po laki probinsya at alam ko po paano magalaga ng mga hayop at magtanin ng palay at crops paano po ba ako maka loan Sa DA para magamit ko puhunan para sa future farm ko po salamat po

    1. Hello po. Makipagugnay po kayo sa DA ng lugar ninyo. Sila po ang makakasagot ng tanong niyo tungkol sa loan. Salamat po.

  23. Hello

    Thank you for an excellent article and the information regarding government grants. My wife has several relatives who, in theory, qualify. She tells me that unfortunately, despite the best efforts of President Duterte, it is not an uncommon practice for bribes to be requested by some of the people in a position to approve loan applications. Her poor kinsfolk have little hope, it seems, of help from the government’s well intended efforts to help these young people, known by The World Bank as the “rural poor”.

  24. how a farmer can avail this grant loan.?

    1. Hello! Please contact your local DA or ATI office for details. Thank you!

  25. Magandang araw po,

    Interesado po sana ako mag avail netong financial assistance. Gusto ko po sana palaguin yung duck farm ko. Gusto ko po magdagdag ng itik na aalagaan. Nakita ko kasi ang potential ng business na ito. Sa ngaun po ay maganda po ang performance kaya gusto ko mag expand..salamat po

    1. Hello po! Paki-contact po yung DA office sa lugar niyo. Sila po ang makakasagot sa inyo tungkol sa loan.

  26. Can I avail loan for acquisition of farm lot? THank you.

    1. Hello! Please contact your local DA office for inquiries. Thank you!

  27. I’m reading this article in 2021 I am just wondering if I can still avail the loan program we have a piece of land in Tanay, Rizal and I want to turn it into an agricultural land. I hope DA can support me.

    1. Hello! Please contact your regional DA office regarding this. Thank you!

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