To raise awareness on available government programs aimed at enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of onion growers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) held the Information Caravan on Agri Credit Programs for Onion Farmers on September 14, 2023 in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.
“Our ultimate goal is national self-sufficiency. Ensuring that our farmers have wider access to credit and insurance is among the first steps toward the achievement of this goal. Government credit and insurance programs have had a long history of service to the agriculture sector in this respect,” Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said
He added that government credit and insurance programs permit farmers and their organizations “to pool their resources, reduce risks, and build capital for their enterprises.”
“Kasabay ng aksyong pang-emerhensiya upang maiayos ang presyo ng bilihin, ipinag-utos din ng Pangulo sa Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka na ipagbuti at palawakin pa ang mga serbisyong pananalapi para sa mga magsasaka,” the DA official said.
The onion credit caravan, which was attended by at least 120 farmers, served as a one-stop shop to learn about the loan and insurance program updates and requirements of government financing institutions. During the event, the interested and eligible farmers were also assisted by concerned agencies in processing their loan applications on site.
It was led by the DA-High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), and the DA-Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) as part of the government’s Optimization and Resiliency in the Onion Industry Network (ORION) Program to support the local onion industry.
To contribute to the production of high-quality and affordable onion, the DA-ACPC launched in March 2023 the Credit and Financing Facility for Onion Farmers under the AgriNegosyo Loan Program with a P500-millon fund allocation.
The Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, New Rural Bank of San Leonardo Inc., ProFarmers Rural Banking Corporation, Kilusang Lima Para sa Lahat Multipurpose Cooperative, and the Rizal Public Market Vendors Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative also participated in the activity.
Established under the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., the DA’s ORION Program aims at promoting a competitive, resilient, and profitable onion industry providing high quality, safe, affordable, and sustainable onion supply enough for domestic consumption.
The ORION Program strategies include the provision of accessible credit loans that farmers can use to purchase equipment, establish facilities, and improve marketing activities, among others. (Gumamela Celes Bejarin/DA-AFID)