Agri dept offers loans to farmers, fishermen, small businesses hit by COVID-19 crisis


Posted at May 21 2020 04:19 PM

MANILA - The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday said it was offering interest-free loans to farmers, fishermen and agriculture-related businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

The DA said small, medium and micro enterprises involved in food production or distribution can borrow P300,000 up to P10 million to support their operations. The loans will have zero interest and will be payable in up to 5 years, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes said in an online briefing. 

Small farmers and fishermen, meanwhile, can borrow P25,000 per household. The loans will require no collateral, have zero interest, and will have payment terms of up to 10 years, said DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista. 

Young entrepreneurs involved in agriculture-related enterprises may also borrow up to P500,000, with zero interest and a payment term of up to 5 years. 

The loans are meant to ensure a stable food supply for the country, as the government continues to implement measures to check the spread of COVID-19, the officials said. 

So far, the DA has already released P514.5 million to partner lenders in 32 provinces for the loans meant for farmers and fishermen, the officials said. 

For MSMEs, the DA said it has so far released P310 million for distribution in the National Capital Region and 29 provinces. 

The Department of Trade and Industry has also said that it would start processing loans for small businesses next month.