Landbank lends P500 million to help Pangasinan farmers

Landbank lends P500 million to help Pangasinan farmers

MANILA, Philippines — Government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines and the provincial government of Pangasinan have signed an agreement for a P500-million loan aimed at boosting the productivity and income of rice farmers in the province.

In a statement, Landbank said P400 million would be under its Palay at Mais ng Lalawigan Lending Program, which will be used by the local government unit (LGU) to purchase palay (unhusked rice) produced by small farmers with less than two hectares of land each.

“Around 20,000,000 kilos of palay will be purchased by the provincial LGU at higher prices than the prevailing market in the province benefitting around 16,000 farmers in Pangasinan,”Landbank said.

After procuring palay, the provincial government will process the milling of the palay and sell them to 14 provincial government-owned hospitals, the Pangasinan Provincial Jail, as well as other LGUs as part of relief operations and other related social services.

The rice may also be distributed to Bigasan ng Bayan centers owned by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be sold to local communities.

Meanwhile, Landbank said the remaining P100 million would be used for the construction of a second rice processing complex (RPC) in Pangasinan. This will also involve the purchase of a rice mill, dryer, and industrial vehicles to transport agriculture products.

“Landbank continues to answer the call of small farmers for an assured market and reasonable prices for their produce. We stand together with our LGU partners towards helping farmers increase their productivity and income, especially during this ongoing pandemic,” Landbank president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo said.

The state-run bank has already approved P3.78 billion worth of loans for eight LGUs under its Palay at Mais ng Lalawigan program, which is intended for palay procurement and acquisition of farm machineries and equipment or post-harvest facilities.

Of the total, P115 million has been availed by two LGUs as working capital loan for palay procurement, benefitting more than 1,800 small farmers as of August this year.

From January to August, Landbank has extended a total of P21.27 billion in outstanding loans in support of agri- and aquaculture projects of LGUs nationwide.

Landbank said it remains committed to providing intensified support to the agriculture sector to fast-track its growth and recovery from the impact of the pandemic.