Iloilo to offer zero-interest loans to farmer coops

first_imgFarmers in Iloilo town harvest palay. Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Thursday said the province will offer loans to farmer cooperatives, which in turn, will purchase the produce of small farmers at premium prices. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN The governor on Sept. 11 gathered variouscooperatives to discuss the loan program. “This will involve loans, financialinstitutions, and we will check our banking laws, our cooperative laws and evenCommission on Audit rules on what we can do,” he added. The governor recently met with Agriculturesecretary William Dar to discuss matters on solving the low prices of palay in the market. He added farmers with less than a hectare of palay production have no capacity tokeep the produce within the moisture standards of the National Food Authority(NFA). Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor Jr. onThursday said the province will offer loans to farmer cooperatives, which inturn, will purchase the produce of small farmers at premium prices. “It will have zero interest and we want toborrow from the Land Bank of the Philippines because that is the directive ofthe Agriculture secretary from the national government that the Land Bank willloan money to the local government units as a source of fund,” Defensor said. ILOILO CITY – The Iloilo provincial governmentwill offer an interest-free loan program to farmer cooperatives to help themadjust to the low prices of palay. Elias Sandig, assistant provincialagriculturist, on Friday said palayprices in Iloilo market are sold at P10 to P12 per kilo. He added the cooperatives must be accreditedby the province and have a drying facility.center_img “The national government wants the localgovernment units, especially the province, to be involved in this,” Defensorsaid. From January to August, 3,179 hectares of palay in the province were alreadyharvested. He said out of the 114, 000 farmers in theprovince, 7,953 farmers till below a hectare of land. The amount of loan that will be granted by theprovince will depend on cooperatives’ absorptive capacity. The NFA requires 14 percent moisture contentof palay the reason why it cannotpurchase the produce of small farmers who lack facilities in keeping the grainwithin the moisture standards. “About 8, 000 of our farmers have no capacityon drying palay,” he added, sayingthis number of farmers can benefit the loan program. Defensor said the provincial government iscrafting an executive ordinance on loan agreement as they are still “checkingthe laws and regulations” for the financial aspect of the plan. The provincial government targets to offer theloan program by October as it is still harvest season.(With a report from PNA/PN)last_img

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