LAND BANK AGRI LOANS HIT P230 BILLION
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has extended a total of P230.02 billion in loans to the agriculture sector in the first 5 months of 2021, benefitting 2.7 million farmers and fisherfolk along with agribusiness enterprises and related projects by local government units (LGUs) and state-run firms.
LANDBANK president-CEO Cecilia Borromeo said this loan amount is P73 million higher than the P229.29 billion level reached in April 2021 and is already 81.6 percent of the bank’s 2021 target of P281.75 billion.
Her report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also showed that from 2,703,249 farmers and fishers assisted by the LANDBANK as of April, another 31,323 were provided by the state lender in the form of soft loans, subsidies, and financial literacy training programs as of end-May.
This brings the total number of farmers and fishers assisted by the LANDBANK as of May 31, 2021 to 2,734.572.
Of the loan releases of P230.o2 billion, close to two-thirds or P145.85 billion went to small, medium and large agribusinesses enterprises, while the remaining amount of P84.17 billion went to small farmers and fisherfolk (P34.79 billion) and the agri-aqua related projects of LGUs and government-owned and controlled corporations or GOCCs (P49.38 billion), according to Borromeo.
Small farmers and fishers borrowed a total of P1.24 billion through direct lending, and another P33.55 billion through conduits such as cooperatives and farmers’ associations, rural financial institutions, and other credit mechanisms.
As of May this year, she said the LANDBANK has also provided P9.42 billion in loans from the P9.83 billion fund for farmer-friendly initiatives it has been administering for the Department of Agriculture (DA), such as the those under the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SIDA), Expanded Rice Credit Assistance (ERCA) under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) and Survival and Recovery Assistance (SURE-Aid) for palay farmers.
For programs it has been administering for the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the LANDBANK has provided P63 million in loans to agrarian reform beneficiaries sourced from the P65 million program fund as of May, she said.
In terms of economic activity, funding support to the agriculture sector in the form of cold storage facilities, irrigation systems, slaughterhouses, farm-to-market roads and other projects received P90.27 billion, representing the bulk of the P230.02 billion in loans as of end-May.
Agri-processing and trading activities received P85.13 billion of the loans, while the livestock subsector got P35.46 billion; crops, P17.16 billion; and fisheries, P2 billion.