September 17, 2012
Legarda: DA's Trading Center Project, Perfect Partner of Agri-Agra Law
Senator Loren Legarda today commended the Department of Agriculture (DA) for its Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (APTC) project, as she stressed that the program complements the purpose of Republic Act 10000 or the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009.
Legarda, author of RA 10000, said that while the APTC project intends to increase the income of farmers, the Agri-Agra Law aims to boost the agriculture sector and promote livelihood among agrarian reform beneficiaries.
According to the DA, this new project will enable farmers to earn more since they can directly sell their products in the trading centers and avoid dealing with middlemen. The four primary APTCs will be constructed in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and North Cotabato.
"The establishment of these trading centers is a laudable move that will greatly benefit our farmers as they get the income commensurate to their hard work," Legarda said.
"While we await the completion of these trading centers, it would be best to ensure that our farmers are also aware of the other opportunities for growth and improvement available to them," she pointed out.
The Senator explained that the Agri-Agra Law opens a new window of opportunity for farmers as the law requires banks to allocate 25 percent of their loanable funds to the agriculture sector to finance the acquisition of work animals, farm equipment or machinery, seeds, fertilizers, livestock, feeds and other similar items for farm production. Of the 25 percent, 10 percent should be given to agrarian reform beneficiaries and 15 percent to the agriculture sector.
"We have to strengthen programs that would increase productivity in the countryside and ensure better harvest. Supporting the improvement of the livelihood of our farmers is a great leap towards our goal of achieving food sufficiency," Legarda concluded.
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