Triple agriculture budget, says former DA head
Former agriculture secretary William Dar said the Department of Agriculture’s budget should be tripled from P90 billion to P300 billion to give more credit and insurance to farmers and fund the propagation of more high-value crops.
Dar was quoted by Malaya Business Insight as saying that Land Bank’s model must be changed to give more small farmers and fisher folk wider access to loans and credit opportunities.
“It is inevitable that we graduate from just focusing on productivity but looking beyond productivity because agriculture has to be a profitable business venture and much of income opportunities would be derived from value added developments,” Dar was quoted at the Agricultural Credit Policy Council’s anniversary event as saying.
He said Land Bank must devote more resources to developmental lending instead of thinking more along the lines of profitability.
He said developmental lending will boost agricultural growth and give some 4.8 million small farmers their much-needed value added.
LandBank’s outstanding loans to small farmers and fishers in 2015 was P38.7 billion, or 15 percent more than the P33.7 billion it loaned in 2014.