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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

LandBank releases P2.5-b loans to El Niño-affected rice famers

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State-run Land Bank of the Philippines said it released P2.5 billion in loans through the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF) to farmers as of April 2024 amid the challenges posed by the El Niño phenomenon.

LandBank said that in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), it fully disbursed the P500-million annual allocation under ERCA-RCEF from 2019 to 2023.

The program offers affordable loans with minimal documentation for rice farmers and cooperatives.

“LandBank’s support to the agriculture sector is crucial to ensuring food security in the country. 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,” said LandBank president and chief executive Lynette Ortiz.

The P2.5-billion loans benefitted over 15,400 individual rice farmers and 270 cooperatives, impacting more than 21,300 beneficiaries, the lender said.

It said the loans supported various aspects of rice production including milling, trading, re-lending and acquiring farm machinery. About 98 percent of LandBank’s direct borrowers under this program are individual rice farmers.


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