DBP lends P645 million to agriculture startup project
DBP president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Herbosa said the bank signed a loan agreement with Hijo Superfoods Inc. (HSI) to support its start-up unit, Project Honeycomb, and fund the establishment and expansion of its facilities.
STAR/ File

DBP lends P645 million to agriculture startup project

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - January 10, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — State-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has lent P645 million  to a domestic agriculture enterprise to help improve its banana flour and coconut sugar manufacturing and export capabilities.

DBP president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Herbosa said the bank signed a loan agreement with Hijo Superfoods Inc. (HSI) to support its start-up unit, Project Honeycomb, and fund the establishment and expansion of its facilities.

This, Herbosa said, would help boost the company’s production of export products and provide continued livelihood to local farmers and suppliers.

“DBP has always been supportive of the initiatives of our local industries that benefit, not just the local community but promote the country as well through their world-class products,” Herbosa said.

Through Project Honeycomb, HSI aims to ramp up its production of coconut sugar to nine metric tons (MT) a day or at least 270 MT a month, from the current level of 12 MT per month, by utilizing advanced technology and modern machinery.

It would also enable the company to start producing banana flour at an initial capacity of five MT a day using bananas sourced from HSI’s own farms and similarly classed harvests of other Cavendish banana-producing companies.

DBP senior vice president for Southern and Western Mindanao Lending Group Ana Marie Veloso said the project would assure a more sustainable livelihood for local coconut farmers amid fluctuating prices of copra in the international market.

HSI plans to ship the sugar and banana flour products to export markets, with the company expecting to earn more than $10 million in gross revenues.

“On another note, the products of Hijo are also considered healthier alternatives to regular processed sugar thereby contributing immensely to the nation’s efforts to combat and control non-communicable diseases such as diabetes,” Veloso said.

DBP provides credit support to four strategic sectors of the economy, including infrastructure and logistics, micro, small and medium enterprises, social services and community development, and the environment.           

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