DA, LANDBANK vow closer collaboration to grow agri sector, achieve food security

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Acting Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar and LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo pledge to synergize efforts to increase support for farmers and fishers

 

The Department of Agriculture and the Land Bank of the Philippines will be working very closely to help fulfill the government’s vision of a food-secure Philippines.

This was underscored during the LANDBANK Board meeting which DA Acting Secretary William D. Dar presided over on Wednesday, August 14.

Secretary Dar and LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo pledged to adopt a collaborative strategy and build a stronger partnership between the DA and LANDBANK in order to serve more farmers and fishers, and grow the agriculture sector.

Dar earlier presented his proposed “new thinking” strategy which aims to empower farmers, fishers, and private sectors to increase productivity and profitability through agriculture sustainability and resilience. This strategy is built around eight paradigms: (1) modernization of agriculture; (2) industrialization of agriculture; (3) promotion of exports; (4) farm consolidation; (5) roadmap development; (6) infrastructure development; (7) higher budget and investments for agriculture; and (8) legislative support.

“LANDBANK will play a big role in realizing these objectives, particularly in the area of financing. LANDBANK has the extensive network to reach farmers in the remotest areas, and the financial muscle to provide credit to the smallest farmers up to the biggest players across the agriculture value chain,” Dar said.

Earlier, Borromeo presented to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the members of his cabinet the action plans of LANDBANK to intensify support to the agriculture sector. Among its targets is to increase loans to agriculture by 15% annually or P350 billion by 2022. It will also work to bring to 1 million the number of assisted farmers by end of 2019, and 3 million in 2022.

Borromeo said LANDBANK welcomes the support of the DA in meeting these commitments. “We in LANDBANK are one with Secretary Dar and his team in DA in advancing programs for farmers. We are committed to do our part as we synergize our efforts to realize our shared vision of a more productive and sustainable agriculture sector, and a food-secure Philippines,” said Borromeo.

Included among the priority projects of LANDBANK is the conduct of semi-annual farmer forums in all provinces nationwide. This will be conducted jointly with the DA following the DA secretary’s commitment to mobilize all provincial DA offices to reach more farmers through these forums.

LANDBANK also committed to help the DA update the Registry System on Basic Sectors in Agriculture or RSBSA – a nationwide database of information of farmers and fishers from the country’s various provinces, which serves as basis for some of the government’s support programs.