THOUSANDS OF FARMERS FROM MAGUINDANAO TO AVAIL OF SURE AID LOAN

Three thousand and four (3,004) rice farmers from the Province of Maguindanao will receive cash loans worth a total of Php450,060,000 on January 30, 2020 at the Mass Releasing of Cash Cards under the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance (SURE Aid) Program.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), in close collaboration with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP)-Kidapawan Branch, shall be spearheading the activity that will be held at the MAFAR Covered Court, Bangsamoro Government Center, Cotabato City.

Simultaneously, the same activity shall also be carried out in Lanao del Sur Province that will cater 500 rice farmers in partnership with the LBP-Iligan City.

The SURE Aid Program aims to help the rice farmers across the country who have experienced ‘decrease in income’ owing to the dwindling farm gate price of palay with the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL). The program shall provide a one-time loan assistance of P15,000, at 0% interest, per rice farmer cultivating one hectare and below. The loan is payable for eight years at Php1,875 per year.

With a total of Php1.5 billion, the program fund for the whole country came from the Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) and the lending program shall be administered by the LBP as effected by the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the two institutions last August, 2019.

During the said signing, DA Secretary Dr William D. Dar said “Credit must be affordable and accessible, and the ease of doing business will be our principle in terms of simplifying the process for the common farmer.”

Meanwhile, MAFAR Minister Dr Mohammad S. Yacob supports the idea with his advocacy on simplifying the processes and requirements for every transaction of the Bangsamoro farmers with the government.

BARMM Interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim, Al –Hadj and DA Secretary Dar are expected to attend the activity with their messages of inspiration for the farmers.

Similar activity was conducted in Marawi City last January 6, 2020, benefiting 280 rice farmers.

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