Borrow away! DA encourages youth, farmers, fishers to avail of agency loan offers

Published May 4, 2021, 5:06 PM

by Betheena Unite

Young entrepreneurs, small-scale farmers, and fisherfolks who were affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic were prodded to avail of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) loan offers to help them recover and get out of the doldrums.

(Photo courtesy of the Department of Agriculture)

In a virtual press conference Tuesday, May 4, Executive Director Jocelyn Badiola, director of the DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) called on farmers, fisherfolks, and entrepreneurs to apply for a much-needed financial assistance before their office.

“I encourage everyone, if you want to get into agriculture, you don’t have to worry about your working capital because we have programs that can provide loans at very easy terms, zero interest, no collateral, and five to 10 years to pay depending on your project cycle,” Badiola said.

“And tutulungan po namin kayong gumawa ng (We will help you come up with a) business plan and we have available training because we link with ATI (Agriculture Training Institute). All you have to do is to go to ACPC access and sign up if you are interested and we will schedule you for a program briefing,” the director added.

Small farmers and fisherfolks whose incomes were adversely affected by community quarantine restrictions may avail of the SURE COVID-19 loan program that aims to finance their emergency and production requirements.

Under the loan program, a household can borrow up to P25,000 with zero interest and no collateral. The amount is payable up to 10 years.

As of April 22, more than 82,100 farmers and fisherfolks as well as 156 entrepreneurs have been granted loans. A total of P2.058 billion have been released to farmers and fisherfolk while P839.5 million were released to entrepreneur borrowers.

Entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 may also benefit from the Kapital Access for Agripreneurs (KAYA) program, which aims to finance the capital requirements of their start-up or existing farm or fishery business. It can also be used to fund the acquisition of machineries and equipment.

Borrowers may get up to a P500,000-loan, payable up to five years, with zero interest and no collateral under the program.

A total of 49 borrowers have already benefited from this program to the tune of a P14.3-million loan release from the agency. Badiola claimed that “a lot of people are still interested” to make a loan.