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Rice Article: Philippines  

Farmers need P25B to improve rice output
By Roderick T. dela Cruz
Manila Times, June 24, 2004

AGRICULTURE and banking officials on Wednesday urged the government to pour more resources into the financing scheme of the Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corp. as a way of improving rice productivity.

Frisco M. Malabanan, the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) rice program director, said that only 135,000 out of the total 2.5 million rice farmers in the country received loans under the Self-Reliant Team program of Quedancor last year.

Through its SRT financing scheme, Quedancor, a semigovern­ment corporation attached to DA, extends noncollateral loans to teams of three to 15 individuals.

While Julio Climaco, vice president for strategic planning of the Land Bank of the Philippines, claimed that the bank extended P14 billion in loans to the agriculture sector last year, Malabanan said only P300 million of the figure went to small rice farmers.

Malabanan estimated that Filipino rice farmers would need some P25 billion in loans per cropping season or a total of P75 billion annually in order to invest sufficiently in rice production.

He cited the need for more credit to the rural sector during the Rural Finance Symposium in Ortigas Center, Pasig City where the Agricultural Credit Cooperative Council disclosed the results of its study entitled “Impact Evaluation of Quedancor’s Credit and Guarantee Programs.”

The study was jointly conducted by the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture.

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