Enterprise development program bill for farmers, fishermen now a law
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure that will institutionalize an enterprise program for fishermen and farmers.
Duterte signed Republic Act 11321, also known as the Sagip Saka Act on April 17, but a copy of the new law was only released to the media on Monday.
The new law seeks to “strengthen the farmers’ and fisherfolk’s enterprise development program by establishing a comprehensive and holistic approach in the formulation, coordination, and implementation of enterprise development initiatives, consolidating the roles of different government agencies involved in farmers and fisherfolk enterprise development, and intensifying the building of entrepreneurship culture among farmers and fisherfolk.”
Under the law, the program will give farmers and fishermen access to skills development, business support, technology financial support through grants.
The law covers the following areas:
- Agriculture and fisheries production
- Acquisition of work animals, farm and fishery equipment and machinery
- Acquisition of seeds, fertilizer, poultry, livestock, feeds, and other similar items
- Procurement of agricultural and fisheries products for storage, trading, processing, and distribution
- Construction, acquisition, and repair of facilities in support of agriculture and fisheries
- Working capital for agriculture and fisheries graduates to enable them to engage in economic activities
- Agribusiness activities which support soil and water conservation and ecology enhancing activities
- Working capital for long gestating projects
- Credit guarantees on uncollateralized loans to farmers and fishermen
Among the beneficiaries of the program are producer groups whose products are included in the priority commodity value chain; farmers and fishermen who have the potential to produce marketable surplus; producer groups or cluster of growers that are either operational and/or show a willingness to undergo capacity building on enterprise development and management; among others.
The law tasks the Department of Agriculture (DA) to implement the entrepreneurship program by seeking the technical expertise of other government agencies.
The Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Council will also be created to oversee the implementation of the program. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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