Agriculture Secretary William Dar predicts higher rice production and increased income of farmers toward the end of the year with the release of the P1.5-billion Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers.
The P1.5-billion fund was approved during 66th governing council meeting of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council on August 15.
“This loan assistance is a manifestation of the strong desire of the government to help Filipino rice farmers,” Dar said.
The fund aims to provide loan assistance to rice farmers affected by the reduction or loss of their farm income.
The program also intends to help rice farmers regain their capacity to continue their production.
“We will continue to look at measures to improve the living conditions of our rural stakeholders. Rest assured that with RCEF, farmers will increase productivity and earn more,” Dar said.
Under the aid program that will start on September 1, 2019, rice farmers who are tilling one hectare land and below may avail of a one-time, zero-interest loan amounting to P15,000, payable up to eight years.
In addition, the National Food Authority will buy the produce of rice farmers who were able to avail of the loan assistance under the program.
The ACPC governing council approved P1.5 billion of funding for the program to be implemented by Land Bank of the Philippines.
The implementing guidelines of the program will be jointly drawn up by the ACPC and LandBank.
The ACPC council is composed of the agriculture secretary as chair, governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as vice chair and the secretaries of the finance and budget departments and the director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority as members.
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