Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said DOF chief Carlos Dominguez has given the green light on the proposal to use P3 billion of the P4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF).
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DA taps P3 billion from ACEF for fish cage farming
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - June 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government has approved the utilization of at least P3 billion for the development of fish cage farming in the country following an endorsement from the Department of Finance.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said DOF chief Carlos Dominguez has given the green light on the proposal to use P3 billion of the P4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF).

The proposal to fund fish cage farming using the ACEF is part of the Agricultural Catch Up Plan submitted by the DA to the economic team to contribute to the country’s economic growth this year.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources plans to establish at least 300 large fish cages per region estimated to cost P1 million each, including bangus fingerlings, feeds and other operational costs.

“Fish cage farming has been proven to be capital intensive, but highly profitable aquaculture project in the country today with operators earning profits as much as 100 percent on their investments,” Piñol said.

Under the proposal, individual fish cage operators will be allowed to borrow P1 million, while cooperatives and associations will be given access to P5 million.

With these loan funds, fish cage operators could harvest twice a year and are expected to increase bangus production by 120,000 metric tons every year with a market value of P12 billion.

BFAR has also been ordered to form loan facilitation teams with the help of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council to assist prospective applicants in accomplishing all the documentary requirements for the loans.

The ACEF is collected by the DOF through the Bureau of Customs from tariffs imposed on imported agricultural products.

It was, however, tainted with corruption in the past as borrowers who had connections in government were able to access the ACEF loans without paying back their loan. 

AGRICULTURAL COMPETITIVENESS ENHANCEMENT FUND CAGE FARMING
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