In line with its mandate to advocate agri-credit policies and orchestrate programs that would promote farmers’ and fisherfolk’s access to sustained financial services, the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) conducted an Assessment and Planning Workshop with the DA’s Regional Agri Credit Desk Officers (RACDOs) last August 16-29, 2022.

Through the workshop, participating RACDOs and alternate RACDOs from the DA Regional Field Offices (DA RFOs) were able to assess credit and financing opportunities and constraints to the agri-fishery sector, and recommend credit support and interventions necessary to advocate credit programs in line with the thrusts of the new administration.

The DA-ACPC, as part of the secretariat of the Loan Facilitation Teams (LoFTs) of the DA, also oriented the RACDOs on the functions of the LoFT and their role as trainers in the conduct of the upcoming Financial Education project of the DA-ACPC in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and BDO Foundation.

The LoFTs were established thru DA Department Order No. 12, s. 2018, and were installed in every region and province to provide the needed technical assistance support to farmers and fisherfolk on credit awareness, loan acquisition, utilization and repayment, and to assist stakeholders in completing the loan documentary requirements to ensure that they can avail the DA credit programs applicable for them. Regional LoFTs are led by the Regional Technical Director as Team Head and the RACDO as Assistant Team Head.

“ACPC and the RACDOs have been partners for 25 years already. The RACDOs have functioned as our point persons in the regions and provinces, initiating and assisting in the conduct of provincial, city, and municipal-sponsored credit fora; disseminating information on agri-credit to stakeholders; and assisting farmers and fisherfolk in accessing credit from our partner lending conduits,” said DA-ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola in her welcome remarks. “The RACDOs and LoFTs play a vital part in the implementation of ACPC’s credit programs.”

The four-day activity was comprised of orientations, breakout discussions, and presentations of outputs, including plans and strategies for the 2nd semester of 2022, and was attended by 15 representatives from the DA RFOs, and officers and staff of the DA-ACPC.