LandBank extends P2.5-B loans to rice farmers

By Anna Leah Gonzales

May 28, 2024, 2:16 pm

MANILA – State-run Land Bank of the Philippines said total loans released through the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF) have reached PHP2.5 billion as of April 30, 2024.

In a statement on Tuesday, LandBank said the loans have benefitted more than 15,400 rice farmers and 270 cooperatives with more than 21,300 member-beneficiaries.

The amount was channeled to support palay production, milling and trading, re-lending, and acquisition of farm machinery.

LandBank said the majority of the loan borrowers were from rice-producing provinces, such as those in the Cagayan Valley region, particularly Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino.

The bank also extended assistance to rice farmers in Central Luzon and the provinces of Capiz, Leyte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, North Cotabato, and Zamboanga del Sur.

"LandBank's support to the agriculture sector is crucial to ensuring food security in the country," LandBank President and CEO Lynette Ortiz said.

"We are committed to providing continued financial assistance to our rice farmers to help them sustain their operations and improve productivity, especially in the face of challenges, including the El Niño phenomenon."

The ERCA-RCEF is a credit facility that aims to boost the productivity and income of small rice farmers and cushion the initial impact of Republic Act 11203, or the Rice Tariffication Law.

Under ERCA-RCEF, individual farmers may borrow up to 90 percent of their total project cost at a low fixed interest rate of 2 percent per year.

The loan may be used to purchase farm inputs for rice and rice seed production, as well as farm machinery and equipment for production and post-production. (PNA)