Lingap LEADS Foundation Inc., Empowering Farmers, One at a Time


In the Philippines, farmers are often hailed as heroes, yet it appears that their challenges go largely unnoticed. The persistent struggles faced by the country's local farmers are multifaceted. They grapple with meager harvests, inadequate income, limited government support, and an ongoing denial of the opportunity to own and cultivate their own land.

Despite their crucial role in providing sustenance for the nation, the agricultural sector confronts various issues that hinder the prosperity of these unsung heroes. The meagerness of their harvests contributes to financial hardships, as does the minimal income derived from their labor. The insufficiency of government support further exacerbates their plight, leaving them without the necessary resources and assistance to enhance their productivity.

Moreover, the denial of the opportunity for farmers to own and cultivate their land perpetuates a cycle of dependence, hindering their ability to make long-term investments in their agricultural endeavors.


In 2009-2010, I remember buying a kilo of rice for only 30-40 pesos. High-quality rice could be purchased at around 40-50 pesos per kilo. The price of NFA rice sometimes dropped lower than 30 pesos. In 2023, rice prices soar where you can buy regular quality rice at 50 and high quality rice at 60 per kilo or even higher. In 2014, a decade ago, rice importation reached 1.4 million tons due to smuggling. This year, the Philippines is expected to import 3.5 million tonnes of rice to meet the demand for rice consumption. In 2023, the Philippines became the world's number 1 rice importer, despite being an agricultural country. What a shame!

Considering the presented facts and statistics, it becomes evident that the agricultural sector in the country is grappling with a substantial issue. Despite the unwavering dedication and toil of the individuals we rightfully deem heroes—the farmers—there remains a deficiency in their capacity to fulfill the nation's demand for rice and other essential food resources from the land.

This situation underscores the challenges and limitations faced by our agricultural community. It extends beyond the individual efforts of farmers, pointing towards systemic issues that hinder their ability to meet the country's food requirements adequately. Addressing these challenges demands a comprehensive approach, involving not only the resilience of the farmers but also structural improvements, governmental support, and collaborative initiatives. Recognizing and addressing these underlying issues is crucial for achieving sustainable and secure food production in the country.

The root cause of the problem is not just the frequent strong typhoons that hit the country; there is also a significant issue with government services, especially the department in charge of the welfare and well-being of our farmers. I will not delve into details regarding the kind of assistance our farmers require because the honorable individuals seated in the government must be aware of that in the first place.


A foundation is a legal and financial entity set up with a specific purpose, typically for charitable, educational, religious, or research activities. Foundations are often established by individuals, families, corporations, or even governments to support causes or initiatives that align with their values and goals.

One foundation that genuinely supports the plight of our local farmers is Lingap LEADS Foundation Inc. The foundation stands as a dedicated supporter of our local farmers, actively contributing to their well-being. In 2023, they successfully improved the lives of farmers and their families nationwide. Through initiatives such as medical missions, training programs, educational campaigns, and various projects, Lingap LEADS reached out to 5 regions, 9 cities, benefiting more than 3,000 individuals.

In ushering in the New Year, they inaugurated the "Harvesting Reverence Campaign." This transformative mission signifies a profound shift in perspective, seeking to revive acknowledgment of farmers' vital contributions and make substantial investments in their overall well-being.

Just as Max Ventura of Radyo CSR stated, for a company to be sustainable, it should not solely focus on earning money; instead, it should also learn to give back. Furthermore, when companies engage in philanthropic efforts for society, these initiatives should also be designed to be profitable. Companies that prioritize profit over other considerations may pursue practices solely aimed at short-term financial gains, potentially neglecting long-term sustainability or ethical considerations. Striking a balance is essential—a win-win situation for both the company and the group or sector they aim to assist. This approach ensures that the company's success aligns with the well-being and advancement of the communities they impact, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between business and society.

In line with Mr. Ventura's concept of "doing good while doing well," Lingap LEADS Foundation, Inc. precisely exemplifies this principle. The foundation strives to strike a balance between financial success and broader societal responsibilities, adopting a more comprehensive approach that encompasses not only financial performance but also social and environmental considerations, all while remaining profitable. A testament to this systematic approach is the production of Jackpot Rice, a highly promising variety known for its exceptional quality. Termed as the "hybrid rice for all seasons," this variety guarantees a high yield, whether planted during the rainy or dry season. Farmers who cultivate this rice will benefit, as LEADS Agri will purchase their harvest at a higher price.


Magtanim ay di biro.

If being a farmer was not easy before, the current situation has made the plight of our local farmers even more difficult. It is not surprising that many landowners are selling their properties to subdivision developers, leading to a further decline in agricultural products. Due to the lack of support from the government, the younger generation is abandoning farming because they believe it cannot meet their educational and personal needs towards their life goals. Nevertheless, if other companies or businesses take inspiration from the mission and vision of the Lingap LEADS Foundation, Inc., every Filipino farmer will feel that they have allies, encouraging them to continue nurturing and developing our land.

The establishment of foundations like Lingap LEADS can also serve as a way to open the eyes and minds of the current generation of youth regarding the vital role of farmers in the country's progress. As an ordinary Filipino who comes from a family of farmers, I will continue to support Filipino farmers to the best of my ability. I will ensure to purchase local agricultural products as much as possible and pay more for their crops whenever I can. Like the Lingap LEADS Foundation, Inc., my heart is with the farmers. Let's join hands through sustainable agricultural innovation so that, one day, no Filipino family member will have to sleep with an empty stomach and every family will have enough food to share on their tables.

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