By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has pledged to work on a scheme that will improve the lives of local farmers who are now at the mercy of usually low prices dictated by middlemen and traders.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said over the weekend that the government will embark on a “revolutionary” move that aims to liberate farmers from the control of traders and middlemen who still have great influence in the food supply chain and prices.
Piñol particularly assured farmers that the DA is now designing programs that will capacitate farmers from plowing and planting to harvesting, drying, milling, and marketing.
“Farmers should gain fairly for his labor and sacrifices,” Piñol said.
He said this as he addressed more than 900 farmers in a Farmers and Cooperative Day in Iloilo on Sunday.
Piñol then committed a total of P100 million funding support to advance the agriculture sector of Dingle, Iloilo
According to him, the government will provide P40 million loan fund to rice farmers of Dingle by the next wet planting season wherein qualified farmers will obtain credit of P15,000 per hectare upon the conduct of orientation by the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and issuance of Juan Magsasaka Card.
According to Municipal Agriculturist Marfe Quinlat, Dingle has an average production of 4.19 metric tons (MT) per hectare across ecosystem.
Piñol then urged farmers to increase their yield up to 10MT per hectare by using high preforming hybrid rice varieties.
“With this Production Loan Easy Access program, you can buy quality (hybrid) seeds and fertilizers. This is a non-collateral credit program with only six percent interest rate per year,” said Piñol.
He also identified the Dingle Multi-Purpose Cooperative and the Dingle Government Workers Development Cooperative as the lending conduits for the program implementation.
Meanwhile, he also promised P60 million Equipment Loan to Dingle with only two percent interest per annum.
The said amount will be used by the Federation of Farmers Associations in Dingle to procure high quality machinery and equipment.
The DA will also provide a starting capital to the Federation to buy the palay produced by its members. They will also be the one to dry, store and market the farmers’ produce.
Nationwide, the DA is continuously implementing its direct marketing linkage scheme called TienDA Farmers and Fishermen’s Outlets.
TienDA is a marketing system that aims to provide a venue for farmers to sell their products directly to consumers.
Tags: Agricultural Credit Policy Council, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Department of Agriculture, Dingle Government Workers Development Cooperative, middlemen, Piñol wants to liberate farmers from middlemen