The Department of Agriculture will distribute a total of P20 million in loan assistance to towns and cities in District 6 of Negros Occidental this month, Western Visayas regional director Remelyn Recoter said.
In an interview yesterday, Recoter said Candoni, Hinobaan, Ilog and Cauayan towns, and Kabankalan and Sipalay cities, or the CHICKS area, will receive the loans this month through the Production Loan Easy Access program of the DA.
The loan was one of the promises made by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol when he went to Ilog Sept. 28 to conduct the “Byaheng Bukid: Tapatan with Manny Piñol” program.
Piñol told the attending farmers and farm workers during the Tapatan that District 6 will be the pioneer beneficiary of the PLEA program in Negros Occidental.
Recoter said 400 farmers from CHICKS, who applied for the program, will receive P50,000 for fertilizer and other materials they need for farming.
“This is to help the farmers to avoid borrowing from 5/6 or other loaning schemes that charge them high interest rates,” she said, adding that they will only set a 6 percent interest in the loan assistance to allow more farmers to apply with PLEA.
The payment will be every end of cropping season at the Negros Cooperative Bank, she also said.
The turnover of the check to the farmers will be held at the Regional Shrimp Congress on Nov. 16 at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City, and Piñol is also expected to come and conduct dialogs with farmers' groups in Negros, Recoter said.
However, she also said that the arrival of Piñol is still to be confirmed, adding that after the congress in Bacolod, he will go to Iloilo for a similar activity.
Piñol has also promised various farm equipment and machines, and financial assistance to farmers during his two-day visit in Ilog and Bago City.
Recoter said the farm equipment and machines are still being verified by DA-6 to ensure that they fit the need of the farmer's association that asked for it during the Biyaheng Bukid program.*MLG
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