Zamboanga to get P50-M loan for its livelihood program
To ensure fish conservation success in Zamboanga, the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) allotted P50 million for a loan fund that aims to boost the province’s livelihood program.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the loan allocation will support fisherfolk and fishing industry stakeholders during the three-month closed fishing season in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
Initiated by local stakeholders in 2011 and later supported by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) through the passage of an Administrative Circular, the three-month Closed Fishing Season is one of the most successful stories of conservation and protection of marine resources for sustainable fishing.
Starting December of every year up to the last day of February of the following year, fisheries stakeholders have voluntarily ceased fishing operations for the last seven years to allow the species Sardinella Lemuru, locally known as “Tamban” to breed and spawn.
Piñol said the sustainability of the program, however, is challenged by the need to provide stakeholders, including fishermen and sardines factory workers, with alternative livelihood during the off-fishing season.
Hence, the DA decided to provide a loan that will help boost this livelihood program moving forward.
Proposed livelihood programs include Mangrove Nursery Operations, broiler chicken and egg production and other income-generating projects.
The loan fund will be granted under the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) program, which is also available to land-based agriculture stakeholders.