Landbank allots P5 billion for lending to agrarian reform beneficiaries
Landbank said it has put in place a P5-billion direct lending program called Accessible Funds For Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries or AFFORD-ARBs, which will specifically cater to ARBs engaged in rice, corn and high-value crops production.
Walter Bollozos/File
Landbank allots P5 billion for lending to agrarian reform beneficiaries
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - June 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Land Bank of the Philippines is allocating P5 billion for lending to more agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to help increase the productivity and income of small farmers.

Landbank said it has put in place a P5-billion direct lending program called Accessible Funds For Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries or AFFORD-ARBs, which will specifically cater to ARBs engaged in rice, corn and high-value crops production.

The Department of Agrarian Reform will provide a list of eligible ARBs that Landbank can focus on, and will handle the mobilization of borrowers for loan orientation and financial literacy seminars prior to loan release.

“We are committed to vigorously extend our financial support to better serve small farmers and fishers, including ARBs, who need it most,” Landbank president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo said.

“We are strengthening our partnership with DAR and DA to make sure that we reach the rightful beneficiaries of credit and technical support,” she said.

Initial target beneficiaries of the program are the roughly 58,000 recipients of the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) distributed from 2016 to 2018.

Other eligible CARP beneficiaries based on the list to be provided by DAR shall also be granted credit assistance under the program.

AFFORD-ARBs comes with an interest rate at six percent per annum for short term loans and seven percent per annum for long term loans.

Further, Landbank has also designed the Empowering Barangays in Remote Areas through Credit and Enterprise Program (EMBRACE), a direct lending program prioritizing small farmers who are tilling not more than five hectares of agricultural land and small fishers engaged in small scale fishing, seaweed farming and aquaculture in unserved municipalities.

Also covered in the program are micro-enterprises with asset size of not more than P3 million and small enterprises with asset size of more than P3 million, but not more than P15 million.

Eligible projects include a wide array of agribusinesses, such as crop production, poultries, backyard piggeries, fishery production, as well as other agri-enterprise and livelihood projects.

Apart from credit support, Landbank also provides financial literacy and capability-building seminars to make sure borrowers are equipped with basic financial knowledge that will allow them to manage their finances and boost their income.

“With the ratification of the Sagip Saka Act, we are more than ready to provide responsive financing to farmer- and fisher-enterprises to help improve their income and boost the sector’s productivity,” Borromeo said.

Landbank remains one of the biggest credit providers to small farmers, fishers and MSMEs among government financial institutions.

AGRARIAN REFORM BENEFICIARIES LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES
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