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DA launches loan program for onion farmers

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday launched a special loan program for farmers through its Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

According to the DA, the beneficiaries are under the Optimization and Resiliency In the Onion Industry Network (ORION).

During the launch, the DA handed a P10-million check to the Occidental Mindoro Cooperative Bank and a P3-million check to Rueda Onion Growers Association from Nueva Ecija.

The “AgriNegosyo Loan Program for Onion Farmers” is based on the directive of DA Secretary and President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to boost the onion value chain.

Under the program, individual small farmers can lend up to P300,000 per hectare with two hectares maximum.

For farmers’ cooperatives and associations, they can lend up to 90% of their project cost up to P15 million.

The loan is zero interest and can be paid depending on the crop cycle  and payback period of the project, according to the DA.

Meanwhile, on the same day, the DA, together with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), also launched an urban agriculture program to ensure food security and supply in the country.

The program is called "Halina't Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay Kadiwa'y Yaman Plants for Bountiful Barangays Movement" or HAPAG KAY PBBM.

Marcos, who attended the launch, said the program is a merger from DA’s Green Revolution 2.0: Plants for Bountiful Barangays (PBBM) Movement and DILG’s Halina’t Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay (HAPAG) Movement

"One is the DA’s Green Revolution 2.0: PBBM, which aims to increase local production of fruits and vegetables by turning urban, peri-urban, and rural areas into patches of green edible landscapes,” he said in his speech during the launch in Rizal Park.

"To complement this, the DILG is implementing the HAPAG Movement, which aims to build community gardens in every barangay to diversify food sources and to contribute to food security within each neighborhood," he added.

"With the fusion of these two programs, I am certain we will be able to quickly and effectively promote urban agriculture in the entire country and to foster greater ties among residents at the barangay level." —KBK, GMA Integrated News