Multi million agri projects up for Passi City

Farmers of Passi City, Iloilo will no longer depend on loan sharks to finance their farms as Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol promised a P10 million credit support in which farmers can avail of production loan with only six percent interest rate per annum without collaterals.

During the Tapatan program held on Sep. 8, Piñol stressed the importance of a government financing program to advance farming productivity of rice, vegetables and organic farmers as well as livestock raisers.

Aside from the P10 million credit support under the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) Program, Piñol will also link hybrid rice farmers to private sector led financiers through the Kaibigan at Kaagapay Adopt a Farm (KAFAF) program. Passi City farmers who till 1,201 hectares of irrigated rice areas signified their interest to the hybrid rice and fertilizer loaning program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Piñol disclosed that DA has P8 billion fund ready to finance the target 600,000 hectares of hybrid rice areas nationwide in the next planting season.

“The oppression of Ilonggo farmers must end now. I will not allow it to continue anymore because it is an outright injustice and oppression. In other provinces, farmers sell their fresh palay for P18 every kilo. In this Region, palay is being bought by middlemen for as low as P8 to P12 per kilo. And farmers here borrow money from private lenders with almost 500 percent interest. I will come back again and again until an Ilonggo farmer gets what is fair to him,” Piñol said.

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Passi City farmers will also avail of a rice processing complex where the farmers themselves can handle the milling, packaging and marketing of their produce.

Piñol added that the DA has proposed to put up “Bigasan ng Bayan” in every town. He had already dealt with the Department of Social Welfare and Development that the local farmers shall supply the rice requirements of the 4Ps beneficiaries.
“This is one way of creating a sure market for farmers’ produce. I will tell the National Food Authority to focus buying palay in Panay provinces,” he said.

Piñol instructed City Mayor Jesry Palmares to consolidate the requests of farmers groups on the lack of farm machineries and equipment. “We can come up with a farm service provider (FSP) program here,” he said.

He also approved the 6 kilometers farm to market (FMR) project worth P60 million in the sugarcane areas in Passi City.
“I don’t believe that this is a sunset industry. We just need to review our sugar industry. Sugarcane planters here shall organize yourselves and put up a dairy farm,” he urged.

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He proposed to put up a livestock multiplier farm in Passi City for meat and dairy purposes. “We will provide you with a feedmill so you can prepare your feed materials from sugarcane wastes,” Piñol told.

The DA chief lauded the support of Palmares to the City’s agriculture sector. “Through the efforts of Jesry, Passi City is one of the biggest clients of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).”

Passi City’s 27 kilometers FMR gets P254 million funding support from PRDP.

On the otherhand, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation distributed P20 million indemnity claims to farmers in Passi City. [By SMHToreno, DA6Information]

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News and Media Blog in Iloilo City, Philippines.

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