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Revitalizing Directed Credit Approach: Lessons Learned from the Department of Agriculture's Sikat Saka Program

This study is an assessment of the Sikat Saka Program, a direct lending program of the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Land Bank of the Philippines. The assessment was done from the farmers' point of view and focused on measures related to outreach and delivery of credit and other services to target farmer-beneficiaries and on the benefits and immediate impacts the program creates for them. Key results reveal that since its implementation in 2012, the Sikat Saka Program has been successful in terms of reaching its intended beneficiaries, delivering appropriate and useful credit and other services that satisfy small palay farmers' demand, and making an impact in terms of improving farmers' credit access, farm production, gross palay sales, and net farm income. Though its financial component is strong, the Sikat Saka Program showed weakness in its marketing and capacity-building components. Other issues identified are related to collateral requirements, marketing contract requirements, inadequacy of loan personnel in the field, geographical distance from the loan source, management takeover concerns, and transparency in loan releases. With these findings, there are suggested recommendations on the revisiting of some of the program requirements and implementation needs and on improving the non-financial components of the program.



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