State-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) is lending P500 million to the local government unit (LGU) of Pangasinan largely to help the province buy more palay direct from farmers.
A statement showed that LANDBANK signed a P500-million loan agreement with Pangasinan LGU particularly to finance the province’s agricultural projects aimed at boosting the productivity and income of local rice farmers.
Under the funding deal, P400 million of the total loan will be used by the LGU to purchase palay produced by small farmers with less than two hectares of land each.
LANDBANK said this is enough to purchase around 20 million kilos of palay at higher prices than the prevailing market in the province and should benefit around 16,000 farmers in Pangasinan.
The provincial government shall then process the milling of the purchased 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, the remaining P100 million will be used for the construction of a second Rice Processing Complex (RPC) in Pangasinan, together with the purchase of a rice mill, dryer, and industrial vehicles to transport agricultural 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,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
Through the Palay at Mais ng Lalawigan Program, LANDBANK has approved loans amounting to P3.78 billion to eight LGU-borrowers intended for palay procurement and acquisition of farm machineries and equipment (post-harvest facilities).
Of this amount, 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 2021.
From January to August 2021, LANDBANK has already extended a total of P21.27 billion in outstanding loans in support of agri- and aquaculture projects of LGUs nationwide.