From the DA-ACPC Comms & Public Affairs
The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) initially approved P246.3 million in loans barely two weeks after the approval of its Expanded SURE Aid and Recovery Project or SURE Covid-19 financing program.
“We are alloting a total of P2.5 billion for this new DA-ACPC credit program aimed at helping micro and small enterprises (MSEs), and small, marginal farmers and fishers adversely affected by the enhanced community quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said agriculture secretary William D. Dar, who chairs the DA-ACPC Board.
The SURE Covid-19 loan window is part of the DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant Program or the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra Covid-19 Program that aims to increase the country’s food adequacy level.
“This is our way of helping agri-fishery MSEs and small farmers and fishers recover from their losses, as they play a crucial role in ensuring the availability of food supply in Metro Manila and other urban centers,” said secretary Dar.
“Of the initial P246 M, P183.8 M was lent to 7,349 small, marginal farmers and fishers from 11 regions — Cordillera, 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 4-B, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12,” said ACPC Director Jocelyn Badiola in her report to Secretary Dar.
“The remaining P62.5 M was lent to nine MSEs engaged in agriculture and fisheries production, from six regions (Cordillera, 3, 4-A, 5, 7 and 11),” Badiola added.
Under the SURE Covid-19 loan program, eligible farmers and fishers may borrow up to P25,000, with no collateral, zero interest, and payable in 10 years.
“This will help them continue their agri-fishery activities and contribute to sustained food production. They are also considered frontliners in our battle against the Covid-19,” said Secretary Dar.
Eligible MSEs may avail of up to P10 M, zero interest, and payable in five years. A micro or small enterprise may be a single proprietorship, partnership, corporation, cooperative or association.
“We will prioritize MSEs that will supply the DA’s KADIWA ni Ani at Kita outlets that serve Metro Manila and other demand centers,” Secretary Dar said.
The KADIWA ni Ani at Kita is a marketing system, where MSEs, and farmers’ and fishers’ groups sell their produce directly to consumers at reasonable prices.
The DA-ACPC taps its network of 230 partner lending conduits (PLCs) nationwide to implement the SURE Aid Covid-19 loan program, as well as other financial windows, serving small farmers, fishers, young agri entrepreneurs, SMEs, and agri-fishery cooperatives and associations, in coordination with the DA Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs) and local government units (LGUs).
Its partners include rural banks, cooperative banks, cooperatives, and viable NGOs and associations that provide accessible, affordable and timely credit to clienteles in the countryside and hard-to-reach areas.