February 1, 2023

Eighteen farmers from Mountain Province have availed of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ASEF), a program under the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project.
The fund support will be used by the beneficiaries for the construction of greenhouses, pig pens, cattle houses, and for vegetable or rice seedlings production.
Of the 18 farmer-beneficiaries, 10 are from Bontoc, six from Bauko, and two from Sagada. “ASEF have helped farmers to become more productive in agriculture and for them to sustain their farm,” said Kris Floribel Baniasen, administrative assistant at the Provincial Loan Facilitation Team.
ASEF targets individual farmer and fisherfolk, micro and small entrepreneurs (MSE), and farmer and fisherfolk cooperative and associations that are engaged in agricultural production, farming, and agribusiness.
Baniasen said that to avail of the fund support, individual farmer, fisherfolk, and an MSE must meet the requirements.
“They should have feasible and marketable projects, no unpaid loan from lending institutions or from Land Bank, and they should have no adverse findings as borrower,” Baniasen said.
Individual farmers should be cultivating not more than five hectares and engaged in small-scale poultry or livestock raising.
The individual fisherfolk are those who are engaged in fishing and fishery-based production and processing.
Farmers and fisherfolk organizations and associations must be registered with the Department of Labor and Employment and the MSMEs must be registered with the Department of Trade and Industry.
An individual farmer and fisherfolk can borrow up to P1 million while registered MSEs, farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives and associations may avail a maximum of P5 million maximum fund support.
Interested applicants for the ASEF may submit the documents to the Municipal Agriculturist’s Office-Bontoc. – Janice Ogalde

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