PANTUKAN, Davao de Oro – When Reichard Dumaluan’s 74-hectare banana plantation
was hit hard by the destructive Panama plant disease in 2013, his business was at serious
risk of wilting away along with the infected trees in his farm.
The Panama disease infested Cavendish plantations throughout the province (formerly
Compostela Valley) and neighboring towns in the region, only four years after Dumaluan
established the plantation, Reicher Banana Farm, Inc. (RBFI), in 2009. Over time, the
disease caught on, affecting the quality and quantity of RBFI’s produce.
With plantation yield and income significantly reduced, RBFI sought financial assistance
from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) to rehabilitate and sustain their
RBFI availed of a P75-million loan from LANDBANK in 2018 to supplement working capital
and purchase the necessary inputs and equipment for rehabilitation.
After two years of rehabilitation, RBFI fully recovered from the plant disease and is now
harvesting around 10,000 boxes of produce a week—a 100% increase from the previous
production of 5,000 boxes a week.
“LANDBANK recognizes the importance of each subsector of agriculture to ensure food
security. Through accessible credit assistance, we stand ready to support the diverse
requirements of agri players to boost production and income,” said LANDBANK President
and CEO Cecila C. Borromeo.
RBFI also used a portion of the LANDBANK loan for land expansion and modernization,
which includes the purchase of a digital device which can record data per banana bunch,
such as its weight, age, and location in the plantation.
With the data, RBFI can digitally monitor the health of the crops and accurately distributes
farm inputs such as fertilizers, thereby helping the company save on costs. The generated
data also allows RBFI to forecast harvests within a given season.
“I am grateful for LANDBANK’s support, especially at a time we needed it the most. As a
client, we appreciate the customer service, as well as the financial and technical support
they provide for our production,” Reichard Dumaluan said.
RBFI has since expanded its plantation to 130 hectares and generates employment for
around 220 local residents. Their banana harvest is also being exported to different
countries, including South Korea, China, and the Middle East, among others.
As of 30 June 2022, LANDBANK’s loan portfolio to support the country’s banana industry
has reached P1.49 billion, in line with its intensified service to the agriculture sector.