The Department of Agriculture via its service, the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), has started a brand new loaning window which offers funds accordingly farmers’ cooperatives and associations can purchase the equipment and machineries they require.
The Farm Equipment and Machineries Loaning Program which was accepted by the ACPC Executive Board a week provides an initial P400-M fund which might be retrieved by the farmers with a 6 percent interest annually payable in eight decades.
I suggested the new loaning application to the ACPC plank, which I chair with representatives of the Central Bank, the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget Management and farmers groups, as a portion of the attempt to improve the implementation of the farm mechanization application of the country.
Under the present setup, it is the Dept. Of Agriculture, by its regional offices, which purchases farm equipment and machineries which are then distributed to farmers collections.
In the previous administration, farmers groups were required to set a 10% counterpart until they could get figurines, tractors and harvesters.
This prevented many farmers by acquiring machineries and equipment which they had to lower the post harvest losses which according to the data level to 16percent of the harvest.
When I assumed office as Secretary, I discovered farm machineries and equipment amounting to billions of pesos which were not distributed.
President Rody Duterte ordered the distribution of the machineries and equipment and issued the directive that farmers shouldn’t be required to install counterparts.
The reformed Farm Mechanization Program which currently offers loans instead of grants is expected to achieve the following:
- End the torturous authorities bidding procedure by which machineries and equipment are purchased not predicated on the choice of the farmers however on lowest bid. This resulted in the acquisition of inferior quality machineries and equipment and suspicion of corruption;
- Allow the farmers to select their very own brand and own as many equipment and machineries as they have to serve their members or their communities;
- Fasttrack the implementation of the Farm Mechanization Program to effectively make farming more efficient and Protect Against post harvest losses;
- Start a sustainable Farm Mechanization Program where recipients will have a feeling of ownership thus treat the equipment and machineries they require.
The Farm Machineries and Equipment Loaning Program will indicate the beginning of a fresh strategy in extending support to Filipino farmers which will be accomplished through a sustainable loaning program.
This time, farmers will no more complain that they were neglected and deprived of farm machineries by authorities.
Those who’d like to avail of this program are requested to send your letter of intent to the Secretary of Agriculture so this might be deliberated by the ACPC board.
(Photos downloaded in public websites.)