With the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) thrust to uplift the livelihood of Cacao farmers, DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol has formally introduced the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) to Davao Region’s Cacao growers.

In his message as a guest speaker during the Graduation Ceremony of 550 farmer-graduates of the School-on-the-Air (SOA) program held on July 21 at Almendras Gym in Davao City, Sec. Piñol assured the Cacao farmer- graduates that DA will extend its utmost support in cacao production and rehabilitation.

“For our farmers to prosper, they should have the support they deserve. There are three primary support services that our farmers need to increase their productivity and income: first, technology; second, financial; and, third, marketing, “said Sec. Piñol.

Secretary Piñol cited the SOA program of the agency as one way of technology transfer to equip cacao farmers with production and postharvest technologies as well as rehabilitation techniques.

The SOA on cacao production and rehabilitation which runs from May 2, 2017 to June 24, 2017, was conducted over DA Region XI’s Mag-UmaSenso Ta Radio Program and aired over DXRD 711 khz., Sonshine Radio.

For financial assistance, Piñol said cacao growers can access the recently launched Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA), to avail themselves of a loan financing of which the amount would depend on the commodities being produced. 

“Your certificate here in SOA will be used as a ticket for you to avail yourselves of the PLEA because you can’t avail this loan program if you haven’t undergone any training conducted by DA. Cacao farmers who will graduate today will be entitled for a 25,000-peso loan with 6 percent interest per year, no collateral and payable after 5 years,” said Piñol.

The launching of the loan program as an initiative of Sec. Piñol comes with the introduction of the national ID card system for farmers in the country the “Juan Magsasaka at Mangingisda National Farmers Registration Monitoring ID” where pertinent information of Filipino farmer can be found including his land area through the use of satellite mapping.

In his recent FB post, Piñol directed the DA regional offices to intensify the interventions provided to farmers in terms of production and extension services.

Based on DA XI- High Value Crops Development Program report, it has distributed a total of 3,940,509 grafted cacao seedlings to 423 farmers and people’s organization to an area of 7,881 hectares in Davao Region.

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