THE Department of Agriculture (DA) Davao Region believes that the P4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) loan fund will help the farmers in the region with the challenges currently faced.
During the 15th International Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Convention held Tuesday, April 24 at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), DA-Davao director Ricardo Oñate mentioned that the P4-billion loan fund intended for machinery and post-harvest facilities is now ready.
“The P4 billion amount for the loaning program under ACEF is already open wherein P1 million will be loaned for the individual farmers and P5 million for associations and cooperatives...We have many challenges now and this [loan fund] will definitely help with our farmers,” Oñate said.
In the official Facebook page of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, he said that the new ACEF Loaning Program had been launched following a review and modification of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.
“ACEF loans could only be used for projects in agriculture and fisheries, including post-harvest and processing facilities. This means that fishermen’s groups who have been asking for the establishment of small ice-making equipment in their communities could now avail of this loan to put up the facility, including cold storage. Farmers could also avail of the loan to buy farm tractor, rice-corn combine harvesters and other equipment to improve their productivity,” said Piñol in his Facebook page.
The loaning program will impose two percent interest per annum while teams for this specific project will be organized by DA to assist farmers, groups, and cooperatives in applying for a loan. The loaning program will be handled by the Land Bank of the Philippines under the executive committee headed by DA.
Members of the committee also include Senate and Congress Agricultural Committees, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, and representatives of farmers and fishermen.