The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) had so far released more than P13 billion in loans and cash grants to nearly a million farmers and fishermen for this year, the bank’s latest data showed.

As of May 31, LANDBANK has assisted cumulatively 2.7 million farmers and fishers nationwide, of which 991,577 were supported through loan and cash grant releases amounting to P13.39 billion under programs administered for the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“LANDBANK remains one with the Department of Agriculture and other government partners in serving the requirements of farmers and fisherfolk nationwide to increase their productivity and income. We are committed to delivering accessible and responsive financial services toward revitalizing our local economy and ensuring food security,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.

Landbank president and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo

Of the total disbursements, P5.10 billion was released under the DA’s Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) that benefitted 40,556 farmers and fishers.

The program provides necessary credit for increased productivity through the purchase of farm inputs and equipment, as well as agri-based production and post-production processing machinery and facilities.

Another P1.05 billion in cumulative loans have reached 32,000 farmers and fishers under the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF).

The loan window supports rice farmers in 38 rice-producing provinces at affordable interest rates, with minimum documentary requirements.

Together with the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), LANDBANK also implements the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SCP-SIDA), which has extended P400 million to 6,156 farmers in support of the development of the country’s sugar industry.

LANDBANK has also released a total of P2.52 billion in loans to 165,963 small rice farmers through the Survival and Recovery Assistance (SURE Aid) Lending Program, providing immediate credit assistance of P15,000 per borrower with zero interest and no collateral to rice farmers who are tilling one hectare of land and below.

In partnership with the DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), the state-run bank has also assisted 13,884 small farmers and fishers under the SURE Aid COVID-19 Program, which provided emergency loans of close to P350 million to those economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the DA’s Rice Farmer Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program, around 258,919 farmers were provided cash assistance amounting to P1.29 billion.

The RFFA is a P3-billion unconditional cash transfer program that aims to give P5,000 financial assistance each to rice farmers who are tilling 0.5 and 2 hectares of land.

Also under the DA’s Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) Program, LANDBANK released a total of P2.68 billion in cash grants to 536,119 farmer-beneficiaries, 62,020 of whom are also SURE Aid beneficiaries.

The program supports small rice farmers tiling one hectare or less who are not covered under the RFFA Program and are provided a P5,000 cash subsidy to augment production needs.

Source: Manila Bulletin (