Landbank lending P12.2 billion to farmers
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Government-owned Landbank of the Philippines is beefing up its lending to the agriculture sector with an initial P12.19 billion earmarked for loans to farmers and fisherfolks.

Landbank introduced seven new agri-lending schemes which included programs initiated by the Department of Agriculture to address the rice crisis.

“All these new lending facilities, along with the other existing programs, will help address the specific requirements of the various players in the agriculture sector,” Landbank president and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo said.

The P10-billion Palay Alay sa Magsasaka ng Lalawigan program seeks  to assist rice-producing provinces by enabling local government units to procure palay produced by their local farmers as well as  acquire farm machineries and post-harvest facilities.

Last year, a total of P3.2 billion in loans had been approved for the provinces of Isabela, Nueva Ecija and Camarines Sur.

Another project is the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers under the DA, which extended credit assistance to small farmers tilling one hectare of land and below.

Under the program, about P2.07 billion in loans were provided as immediate financial assistance to 136,648 farmers nationwide.

The DA and Landbank also started the Rice Farmer Financial Assistance program, an unconditional cash transfer program which gives P5,000 financial assistance each to rice farmers tilling 0.5 to two hectares of land in 33 provinces nationwide.

As of this month, a total of 5,822 Landbank cash cards worth more than P29 million  had been distributed to rice farmers in Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Ecija, Zamboanga del Sur, North Cotabato, Bataan and Pampanga.

Landbank also partnered with the Department of Agrarian Reform to introduce the Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Benefeciaries program, which provides loans for the production of rice, corn, high-value crops, as well as farm implements.

Outstanding loans reached P100.86 million with 523 farmer-borrowers and a cooperative availing of the financial assistance.

The three other new programs recently launched by the bank are the Sulong Saka Program, which  promotes high value crops production; the Sustainable Aquaculture Lending Program to finance projects within the value chain of fishery, mariculture and aquaculture and the Greenhouse Farming System Financing program to help farmers, cooperatives and agri-entrepreneurs shift to modern farming by adopting the greenhouse farming technology.

Last year, Landbank intensified its lending to agriculture with loans reaching P236.31 billion, exceeding its yearend target of P231.25 billion.


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