SOME 59,000 farmers are set to benefit from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) that was launched under the auspices of the Rice Banner program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for Central Luzon in Cabanatuan Nueva Ecija on November 24, 2021.

RCEF-RFFA is the provision of P5,000 direct cash assistance for farmers registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) who farm two hectares down. The funding comes from the P7.6 billion excess tariff collection from rice imports in 2019 and 2020.

Through the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), P10 billion is also allocated annually for RCEF. An estimated 59,000 farmers in the province of Nueva Ecija will benefit from the program.

The launch was attended by DA Secretary William Dar who conveyed the good things RTL has brought to the country. These include rice farmers who now enjoy higher yields and lower production costs, while consumers benefit from adequate and affordable rice due to RCEF and the National Integrated Rice Program and the record yield of rice of 19.4 million metric tons (MMT) in 2020, which set another record this year with more than 20MMT of the rice harvest.

In collaboration with the DA and the Development Bank of the Philippines and LandBank, the Regional Field Office will provide farmers with an Interventions Monitoring Card that will serve as a cash card and identification.

In 2021, 177,309 farmers in Central Luzon will receive total cash assistance worth P886.5M through RFFA.