The Land Bank of the Philippines recently launched the nationwide implementation of the Sulong Saka Program designed to promote wider crop diversification, particularly for high-value crops.
The bank allotted a total of P10 billion for the program to help small farmers increase their production of high-value crops such as vegetables, fruits industrial crops and alternative food staple crops.
“The Sulong Saka Program is part of our aggressive efforts to intensify support interventions to the agriculture sector. With this new lending program, we are helping our farmers avail of more financial support to increase their crop yield and in turn, increase income for their families,” Cecilia Borromeo, Landbank president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“At the same time, we want our farmers to consider engaging in high-value crop production to improve the country’s crop diversity, which is currently dominated by traditional crops like rice, corn and coconut,” Borromeo added.
Aside from promoting crop production, the program also supports projects that involve the processing and marketing of high-value crops.
Likewise, farmers can apply for financial support for the establishment of nursery, budwood or mother and plant or parent clone gardens; new plantation, replanting, rejuvenation and rehabilitation of old trees; post-harvest projects; as well as trading and export activities under Sulong Saka.
Individual small farm holders can also apply for the loan with an interest rate of 5 percent per annum. Other eligible borrowers including small and medium enterprises, cooperatives, farmer associations and organizations, large agribusiness enterprises and corporations, local government units, non-government organizations and countryside financial institutions are also accommodated.