BAGUIO

SMEs, coops urged to avail themselves of agri lending programs

SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs), farmers and fisherfolk, and their cooperatives and associations can avail themselves of agricultural lending program to increase their productivity.

The Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (Acef) lending program is now accessible through state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines.

In the first semester of 2018, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) produced a total of 235,420 metric tons (MT) of crops, excluding palay and corn.

Crops are classified in three types: fruit crops, non-food and industrial commercial crops (NFICCs) and vegetable crops.

Crop production in CAR increased by 2.5 percent or 5,790.2 MT during first semester of 2018 compared to that of 229,629.8 MT during same period in 2017.

Eligible projects include purchase of farm input and equipment or farm improvement; acquisition/establishment of agri-based production and post-production and processing machineries, equipment and facilities; and relending to farmers and fisherfolk.

Loans are meant to augment conduit funds for relending to agrarian reform beneficiaries/small farm holders (ARBs/SFHs) to finance their livelihood and agri-enterprise projects; and boost conduit's funds for relending to member ARBs/SFHs to finance their house or office repairs.

Loan amounts for livelihood/agri-enterprise are up to P1 million per farmer/fisherfolk, while up to P5 million per project per borrower for farmer and fisherfolk cooperation/association, which carries an interest rate of 6 percent per annum.

For production, forms of collateral include combination of Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) insurance and/or agricultural guarantee fund pool (AGFP) guarantee coverage if applicable, and assignment of expected produce.

In acquisition of fixed assets, these are any or combination of chattel mortgage on object of financing, assignment of expected produce, and PCIC insurance proceeds.

Loan applicants should submit a business plan about their project containing market, technical, management, financial, and environmental aspects.


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