P2-B credit facility for small farmers ready by next year, DAR exec says

on . Posted in DAR In The News
business mirrorTHE government has set aside P2 billion for the implementation of the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP) next year, an official of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said.
The amount is higher by P1.5 billion compared to the P500 million budget allotted for the program this year.

The fund for the credit facility will come from the 2016 budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and will be released through Land Bank of the Philippines. 

The program is being implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through the agency’s support services offices. The DAR is the lead implementing agency of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The government has allotted P1 billion for the credit facility in 2012 and another P1 billion in 2013. The funds came from portions of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, which was later declared to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Because of the ruling, no budget was allotted for the program in 2014.

“For this year, we pushed for funding and was able to get P500 million,” Rosalina L. Bistoyong, DAR undersecretary for support services said.

“Next year P2 billion has been set aside under the program. It will come from the budget of the DA,” she said.

Since 2012 the government has released more than P1.7 billion to various agrarian reform beneficiaries, Bistoyong said.

The credit facility was a result of a dialogue between farmers and President Aquino. Through the DAR, farmers are able to access the credit facility in 2011.   

Through APCP, agrarian reform beneficiaries through the different organizations are able to get financial support for their businesses, Bistoyong added. Loans range from P500,000 to P1 million or higher, depending on the project applied for by the farmers.

Bistoyong said the loans sought by agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations are evaluated thoroughly and must be accompanied by a business plan. 

“Through the program, membership of agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations are expanding,” she added. The official said that some of these farmers are able to access credit through APCP and are now earning. 

She said many farmers who entered into informal lease agreements are now starting to back out and want to gain back control of their CARP-awarded lands because they are now able to access financing through APCP.

Farmers had to go through tedious process to gain access but often failed to get their loan application, approved by banks.

Source: http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/p2-b-credit-facility-for-small-farmers-ready-by-next-year-dar-exec-says/