State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) recently joined the “Lakbay Palay” event organized by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, to promote the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF).

During the two-day event, LANDBANK’s RCEF beneficiary Nariza B. Tan of Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija shared her experiences as the RCEF reached its fourth year of implementation. 

“Nakatulong ang pautang na aking na-avail mula sa RCEF dahil natustusan ko ang pangangailangan sa aking palayan. Sa dating 120 cavans per hectare, nadagdagan ng 30 cavans per hectare and aking ani. Mura pa ang interes sa 2% kada taon,” said Tan.

The DA-PhilRice also launched the “Bantay Palay” Mobile App, which can monitor the prices of rice in real time. Certified inbred rice seeds were also distributed to farmers during the event.

As of February 2023, LANDBANK has provided P1.9 billion funding support to 204 cooperatives and 12,086 individual farmers in 29 provinces covered by the Bank under the ERCA-RCEF. Through PhilRice and the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), the RCEF has also provided 12 million sacks of seedlings to about one million farmers, and distributed 22,306 farm machineries to 7,136 farmers’ cooperatives and associations in 57 provinces nationwide. (LB)