LAND BANK FUNDING SUPPORT FOR AGRI LOANS HITS P231.6 BILLION
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) further surpassed its accomplishment targets for the agriculture sector in November 2020, with an additional P1.44 billion in loans released during the period, which brings the total credit extended to farmers, agribusiness enterprises and other beneficiaries as of that month to P231.67 billion.
LANDBANK president-CEO Cecilia Borromeo said the additional loans in November propped up the accomplishment of the institution to 94.5 percent of its target of P245 billion in agricultural lending for 2020.
The loans extended in October reached P230.23 billion or 94 percent of the goal for this year.
A report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also showed that from 2,502,640 farmers and fishers assisted by the LANDBANK as of October, another 85,987 (representing a 3 percent increase) were able to benefit from the assistance package provided by the state lender in the form of soft loans, subsidies and training programs as of end-November.
The total of 2,588,627 assisted farmers and fisherfolk as of November translates into a 129-percent accomplishment rate over the 2-million target for 2020 set by the Bank, said Borromeo in her report to Dominguez, who chairs the LANDBANK Board.
Of the loan releases of P231.67 billion, about two-thirds or P144.13 billion went to small, medium and large agribusinesses enterprises, while the remaining third (P87.54 billion) went to small farmers and fisherfolk (P37.38 billion) and the agri-aqua related projects of local government units (LGUs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) (P50.16 billion), according to Borromeo.
Small farmers and fishers borrowed a total of P1.34 billion through direct lending, while conduits such as cooperatives and farmers’ associations, rural financial institutions and other lending mechanisms received loans amounting to another P36.04 billion, she said.
As of November this year, she said the LANDBANK also provided P8.31 billion in loans through programs it has been administering for the Department of Agriculture (DA), such as the those under the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SIDA), the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance (ERCA) under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) and the Survival and Recovery Assistance (SURE-Aid) for rice farmers.
For programs it has been administering for the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the LANDBANK has provided P65 million as of November, she said. Of the 2,588,627 farmers and fisherfolk assisted as of November, 717,241 small farmers were assisted through the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) and Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) programs of the DA.
Through the LANDBANK Countryside Development Foundation, the institution was also able to train 98,639 farmers in unbanked municipalities to help improve their financial literacy, Borromeo said.
In terms of economic activity, the support to the agriculture sector through loans for the construction of irrigation systems and post-harvest facilities accounted for P104.19 billion or 45 percent of the P231.67 billion in lending support to this sector.
The P71.53 billion assistance extended to finance agri-processing and trading activities; P36.69 billion provided to the livestock subsector, and the P17.59 billion and P1.67 billion that went to the crops and fisheries subsectors, respectively, complete the breakdown of the P231.67 billion in total agricultural loans as of November 2020.
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