Landbank lends 8% more to agriculture sector
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Landbank of the Philippines reported that its loans to the agriculture sector rose eight percent to P238.11 billion as of the end of July.

Of the total, P44.89 billion comprised outstanding loans to small farmers and fishers, representing an increase of six percent from June.

The number of small farmers and fishers Landbank assisted likewise grew to 895,441 from 889,669 in June.

“We are on track to meet the targets and action plans we committed to the President, as we further intensify Landbank’s support for the agriculture sector,” Landbank president and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo said.

“We continue to work very closely with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform to ensure effective implementation of joint programs and to ensure that we reach the rightful beneficiaries of credit support,”she said.

Loan to other players in the agri-business value chain stood at P193.21 billion – of which P140.1 billion was lent to small, medium and large agribusiness enterprises while P53.1 billion financed agri-aqua related projects of local government units and GOCCs.

Central Luzon cornered the biggest loan at P31.23 billion.  It was followed by CALABARZON with P21.91 billion, and Cagayan Valley (P17.51 billion).

In terms of agricultural activity, crop production loans accounted for P18.85 billion – of which P7.95 billion or 42 percent went to palay production.

Loans for agri-processing and trading stood at P109.3 billion, which includes processing and trading of rice, corn and sugarcane, among others.

Moreover, loans in support of agriculture, which include public markets, farm-to-market roads, warehouses, cold storages, irrigation systems, slaughterhouses, fish ports, and agri-tourism projects, reached P77.66 billion.

“As we aggressively expand direct credit to small farmers and fishers, we continue to provide credit support to various players across the entire agricultural value chain – from crop or livestock production, fisheries, to agri-processing and trading, including various support services and infrastructure projects – which allows us to further widen Landbank’s impact on the agriculture sector,” Borromeo said.

Earlier this month, Land bank released more than P15 million in loans to rice farmers in Tarlac under the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers (SURE Aid).

Over 1,000 rice farmers in Tarlac received a loan assistance of P15,000 each.

The loan was distributed by Landbank through cash cards which could  be used in the 10 existing automated teller machines (ATM) of the bank within Tarlac City.

The SURE Aid program is intended for rice farmers who are tilling one hectare of land and below, and are affected by the initial impact of lower palay prices.

It offers a one-time, zero-interest, no collateral loan of P15,000 payable up to eight years.

Last week, Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced that the DA Agricultural Credit Policy Council was allocating an additional P1 billion for the SURE Aid program. This is on the top the initial budget for the program of P1.5 billion.

Landbank is also allocating P10 billion for lending to local government units, particularly for the procurement of palay from local farmers to cushion the impact of the continued drop in palay prices through the Palay Alay sa Magsasaka ng Lalawigan program.

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