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Landbank releases P231.7-billion loans to 2.6M farmers, fisherfolk

The Land Bank of the Philippines said it released an additional P1.44 billion in loans for the agriculture sector*

The Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) released an additional P1.44 billion in loans for the agriculture sector in November 2020, bringing the total credit extended to farmers, agribusiness enterprises, and other beneficiaries as of that month to P231.67 billion.

In a statement, Landbank president-chief executive officer, 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 Landbank as of October, another 85,987, representing a 3-percent increase, benefited 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, Borromeo said 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.

The remaining third or P87.54 billion went to small farmers and fisherfolk at P37.38 billion, and the agri-aqua related projects of local government units and government-owned and controlled corporations at P50.16 billion, Borromeo said.

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 P36.04 billion, she added.

Borromeo said the Landbank also provided P8.31 billion in loans through programs it has been administering for the Department of Agriculture, such as those under the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act, the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, and the Survival and Recovery Assistance for rice farmers.

For programs it has been administering for the Department of Agrarian Reform, the Landbank has provided P65 million, as of November, she said.

Of the 2,588,627 farmers and fisherfolk assisted, 717,241 small farmers were helped through the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance and Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers programs of the DA.

Through the Landbank Countryside Development Foundation, the institution trained 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 the sector.*

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