To address rising market prices in Metro Manila and to complement the implementation of the price cap effective February 8, 2021 as per Executive Order 124, the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC), will be implementing a zero-interest loan program to offer working capital loans for eligible farmers and fishers’ cooperatives associations (FCAs) in the countryside to help finance the food supply chain.
DA-ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola, along with DA-ACPC Program Development and Management Division Director Cristina Lopez, and other DA-ACPC officers and staff, joined DA Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS) Kristine Evangelista, in a dialogue session with market vendors in Commonwealth Market, Quezon City on February 8, 2021. On February 10, 2021, DA-ACPC Exec. Dir. Badiola and officers also joined DA Undersecretary for Fisheries and Agri-Industrialization Cheryl Marie Caballero in a meeting with Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte. The sessions were part of a series of consultations with stakeholders to finalize the terms and implementing guidelines for the program, which will be launched this month as part of the DA’s efforts to stabilize market prices.
“We are initiating this financing program to institutionalize mutual partnership between the farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and market vendors, and create a ‘win-win’ situation benefiting producers, retailers and consumers,” said DA Secretary William Dar.
Under the financing program, the DA-ACPC shall engage their partner lending conduits (PLCs) to extend working capital loans (revolving fund) to FCAs for them to purchase agri-fishery commodities from their member-farmers/fishers.
These FCAs will be assisted by the DA Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs) and AMAS to enter into a marketing agreement with individual market vendors who will pre-order the goods through an Ordering System. These individual vendors shall be endorsed by the Market Vendors Association (MVA); In the absence of the MVA, the market operator may endorse the individual vendors. The Ordering System will help to reduce wastage of goods as the market vendors will indicate their orders directly to the FCA-suppliers.
The DA RFO and AMAS shall also assist in the transportation of the pre-ordered goods to designated Bagsakan Areas to be prepared by the participating market operators. The individual market vendors shall then receive the goods and sell them to consumers at prices lower than or equal to the suggested retail price (SRP).
Thus, the program aims to benefit the small farmer and fisher producers as they are able to sell their produce to the FCAs, the farmers’ cooperatives and associations as they are able to directly market to retailers, the market vendors as they are able to receive their orders at reasonable prices, and the consumers as they are able to purchase goods at prices lower than or equal to the SRP.
The program offers zero-interest, non-collateralized working capital loans not exceeding Php 5.0 million to the eligible FCA-borrowers, with a minimal service fee of 3.5% of the total loan amount per transaction to be charged by the partner lending conduit.
The targeted program will be launched as a special window under the Agri-Negosyo (ANYO) Loan Program, which offers non-collateralized and zero-interest working capital loans to individual small farmers and fishers, farmers and fishers’ cooperatives and associations, and agri-fishery based micro and small enterprises (MSEs). Aside from the regular ANYO program, there have also been two other special windows under the program: the ANYO for OFWs, in coordination with the OWWA; and the AgriPinay for women farmers, in coordination with the DA Gender and Development (GAD) team of the DA RFOs.
For more information and updates on the DA-ACPC Loan Programs, visit our website: http://acpc.gov.ph/