DA launches new finance program to encourage millennials do agribusiness
MANILA, Philippines — With only a few millennials seeing a future in agriculture, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched its first digitized financing program to bridge one gap that hinders the youth from venturing into agribusiness: the lack of capital.
The agency partnered with digital financial services provider PayMaya to allow young Filipinos to access loans through cash cards, cutting the painstaking bureaucratic process by more than half.
The new program would operate under KAYA, or DA’s Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs program.
Through KAYA, anyone between 18 to 30 years old with a viable agribusiness proposal may avail themselves of loans up to P500,000. The loan would be free of interest, payable in five years, and does not require any collateral.
“With this digital platform, we will be able to reach out and convince more Filipino millennials to engage in agriculture, fishery, and agribusiness ventures, and more importantly bankroll their respective projects,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
“They need not come over to Metro Manila, but simply gather their approved KAYA loan from ATM terminals using their KAYA cash card,” he added.
To date, there are already five millennials – all from Central Luzon – whose project proposals have already been approved and endorsed by the agency.
Ralph Renzo Salvador loaned P260,000 to raise mallard ducks (itik) using a confinement herding system, while Rowee Angela Sarmiento is set to begin her own mushroom production with P230,000 as capital.
Others intend to use their credit to manufacture chili garlic oil and start their own hydroponics garden.
Through PayMaya, KAYA’s partner lending conduits may digitally disburse loans through reloadable cash cards with real-time crediting using a web-based portal.
Loan beneficiaries like Salvador may also access other PayMaya financial services such as e-wallet account, remittance, bills payment, and fund withdrawal.
“Now, more than ever, as we continue fulfilling our mandate of providing easy, timely, and affordable credit to farmers and fisherfolk, we are recognizing that digital financing is the way forward,” Jocelyn Badiola, executive director of DA’s Agricultura Credit Policy Corporation, said.
Dar added that the industry’s continuing adjustment to the lockdown brought by the novel coronavirus pandemic further stressed the need for agriculture to explore cyberspace and take advantage of digitalization.
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