Online farmers assistance program launched in Pangasinan town
BAYAMBANG, Pangasinan––The government of this agricultural town launched on Monday, April 18, an online farmers assistance program called “E-Agro” to enable farmers to access loans, information on farming, affordable equipment, and low-priced inputs like fertilizers and pesticides.
Mayor Cesar Quiambao said the program aims to improve the lives of the town’s 30,850 poor farming families, who earn an average of P3,100 a month from farming.
He said he hoped to increase their income to at least P10,000 monthly through the program.
“The economic system of farmers starts with ‘utang (loan)’ when they plant palay. Then they sell their produce at low prices to the traders (from whom they acquired the loans). Then they also avail of loans during the start of the planting season. With the E-Agro, we hope to stop the system,” Quiambao explained during the launch.
Under the program, farmers, who must be on the list of the Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture, can create an account with the E-Agro portal and register basic information like name, number of hectares tilled, and amount to be loaned.
The system has an app that itemizes where the loan will be used—from land preparation, planting, fertilization, and harvesting.
The farmers can loan up to P100,000 per hectare with an interest of two percent monthly, using their crop as collateral.
Under the program, buying stations are available for the farmers to bring their palay, and they will not be at the mercy of traders. Both the farmers and their crops are also insured.
Agriculture Regional Executive Director Nestor Domenden said the program would help farmers as the approval of loans is fast and in real-time.
“Unlike in banks, where many documents have to be presented and they have to wait for approval when they have already harvested their crops, and the loan has not yet been approved, this scheme is fast, so it is beneficial to the farmers,” Domenden said.
The One-Doc Corporation, headed by Jorge Yulo, developed the program.
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