The Department of Agriculture (DA) has provided loan assistance to over 15,000 rice farmers in Region XII or Soccsksargen.
The “zero” interest loan was extended under the DA’s Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance (SURE-Aid) Program.
“The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) released the P15,000 loan assistance to a total of 15,041 farmer-borrowers as of December 27, 2019,” Milagros Casis, DA XII regional executive director, said.
She said the beneficiaries are from the region’s four provinces.
More than 8,000 farmers were from North Cotabato while more than 4,000 farmers who were able to access financial support were from Sultan Kudarat. These two provinces are the region’s leading rice-producing provinces.
“The region has a total allocation of 20,103 farmer-borrowers but the agency only received 18,748 applications duly endorsed by the four provincial agriculture offices,” Casis noted.
“Of the 18,748 farmer-applicants, 15,041 already received their loans,” she added.
She also said that loan assistance for the remaining 3,707 farmer-borrowers will be given to them this month.
The distribution of loan assistance from the SURE-Aid Program in the region started early in November 2019 spearheaded by the DA, LandBank and ACPC in partnership with the local government units.
The SURE Aid Program aims to assist rice farmers whose incomes were affected by the drop in the farm gate price of palay. Said program provides one-time loan assistance of P15,000 to rice farmers who are farming one hectare and below at zero percent interest rate payable for eight years.