Cebu City Hall offers interest-free loans to farmers affected by unusual weather-A A +A
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
THE Cebu City Government has set up a P5-million loan facility for 14,000 to 15,000 farmers in the city.
City Agriculturist Joelito Baclayon said the City Agriculture Division will give priority to farmers who were affected by the unusually cold weather in the mountain barangays last month as a way of helping them get back on their feet.
Thirty-six farm animals, with an estimated market value of P63,000, died and about P11.5 million worth of crops were damaged last month due to the uncharacteristically low temperature in the upland barangays of Adlaon, Bonbon, Budlaan, Buot, Cambinocot, Guba, Lusaran, Malubog, Paril, Pung-ol Sibugay, Sinsin, Sirao, Sudlon I, Sudlon II, Tabunan, Tagba-o and Taptap.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) yesterday said it has not received reports of additional livestock deaths.
DA Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marina Hermoso said that maybe farmers already know how to take care of their animals.
Baclayon told reporters that qualified farmers can borrow at least P50,000 each.
“We can increase the amount if they want and depending on their needs. They can use the money to replace what they lost or as capital,” he said.
The loan, Baclayon said, will be payable in one year with zero interest.
Aside from helping those who have been affected by the unusual weather, Baclayon said City Hall decided to grant loans to prevent farmers from borrowing from loan sharks and traders who might take advantage of them by controlling the price of their produce.
“Luoy man sila gud kay dagko kaayo og interest unya gamay na lang ang maabot sa ila (Their situation is pitiful because they are forced to borrow at high interest and low principal),” he said.
He said his office will monitor farmers’ payments.
The P5-million loan facility for farmers will be taken from this year’s annual budget of more than P5 billion.
The DA 7 also sent personnel to assist Cebu upland farmers.
The unusual cold also affected farmers in the upland barangays of Balamban, Cebu where nearly 60 farm animals died.
Hermoso urged farmers to report livestock deaths so they can be assisted by government veterinarians.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 12, 2014.