TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan- Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol on Tuesday, May 9, awarded P1-billion worth of farm assistance to Isabela province
In his speech before about 4,000 local farmers, fisherfolk and local officials in Cauayan City, Piñol said the assistance will be in the form of the new lending program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) under the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) called the Production Loan Easy Credit (PLEA) program.
He said the province of Isabela will serve pilot area of the PLEA program, and will receive an initial amount of P100 million for the program’s implementation.
“Farmers can use to purchase hybrid seeds and fertilizer for their farmlands,” Piñol said.
Under the program, farmers and fisherfolk do not have to submit any collateral and will pay a minimum interest rate of 6 percent every year.
He, however, said that the farmers and fisherfolk seeking access to the PLEA loans “need to undergo trainings and be registered as farmers.”
He added that the agency will provide the farmers with ID which already include microchips to ensure that they qualify and prevent abuse.
Of the P1 billion, P325-million will be used for the rice program; P7.14-million will be for livestock promotion and development; P26-million will be used for high value crop development; P78-million for corn and cassava development; P268-million in infrastructure projects under the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP); P229-million in farm to market road projects; P80 million for fisheries development and P50,000 for carabao bull dispersal.
Piñol said Isabela remains one of the biggest rice and corn producing province in the country, but advised farmers to produce more by learning and using more efficient planting and harvesting methods.
Meanwhile, Piñol, together with Isabela Governor Faustino “Bojie” Dy III, Ilagan City Mayor Evelyn C. Diaz, Region 2 Executive Director Lucrecio Alviar Jr., and Regional Farmer Director Isidro Acosta Sr., led the inauguration and groundbreaking of various facilities of the Department of Agriculture-Cagayan Valley Research Center (CVRC) at Ilagan City, Isabela.
Said facilities amounting to around P60 million include a P16-million storage facility for corn, P11.5-million multipurpose hall where modern farm equipment for corn production can be stored, 12 units of rehabilitated old staff houses worth P12.7 million, dorm houses that can cater up to 100 staff (50 girls and 50 boys), and lodging houses for visitors. Northernforum.net