MANILA Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Friday vowed stronger government assistance for the country's agriculture and farming industry.
In a statement, Nograles said the government "will maximize all resources available to ensure that the agriculture sector is a driver of the country's economic growth."
"The government recognizes the importance of the sector and how vital a contributor it is to the Philippine economy," he said.
Nograles said the main initiative is to expand state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines' programs in reaching out and empowering farmers.
"We will strengthen agriculture through more focused assistance, with the end in view of addressing farmers' livelihood concerns, increasing their productivity, and ensuring supply stability and food security for our people," he said.
Nograles said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is closely monitoring production targets for the coming year.
He also cited the Department of Agrarian Reform's launch of a new lending facility called the Accessible and Sustainable Lending Program for Small Farmers, or the ASL Farmers Program, with an interest rate of 6 percent per annum.
"We're assessing response to the program so that we can tweak and make improvements. The ASL Program has credit components to individual farmers, farmers' cooperatives, and agri-based associations. It's really comprehensive," he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency