December 7, 2021 | 00h00
MANILA, Philippines – The Land Bank of the Philippines reached about 93 percent of its target lending volume for the agricultural sector at the end of October, consisting mainly of financing for the purchase of post-harvest facilities and infrastructure.
In a report to the Ministry of Finance, Landbank said it had granted 233.6 billion pesos in loans to farmers and fishermen in 10 months, almost hitting its target of 251.5 billion pesos.
The lion’s share of 94.01 billion pesos has been spent on improving and building agricultural infrastructure and post-harvest facilities.
Almost 60 percent of the outstanding loans, amounting to 150.16 billion pesos, were distributed to small, medium and large agricultural enterprises. On the other hand, the remaining 83.44 billion pesos went to local communities and state corporations (50.52 billion pesos) and to farmers and fishermen (32.92 billion pesos).
Landbank said the bulk of loans obtained by farmers and fishermen, amounting to 31.58 billion pesos, were acquired through cooperatives, farmer associations, rural banks and ‘other credit mechanisms. The other 1.34 billion pesos, meanwhile, was guaranteed by direct loans.
Landbank succeeded in increasing its loan issuance by a net 5.39 billion pesos at the end of October, attributed to the growth of funding releases worth 4.41 billion pesos allocated to small, medium-sized and large agricultural enterprises.
Loans supporting agriculture-related activities, including the creation and improvement of public markets, farm-to-market roads, warehouses, cold rooms, irrigation systems, fishing ports, among others, were contracted during the period.
Landbank has released 100 percent of the 11.04 billion pesos in funds programmed for loans financing Ministry of Agriculture programs such as the Rice Competitiveness Improvement Fund under the Trade Liberalization Law rice.
For credit assistance for the Land Reform Department, Landbank issued the entire program worth 65 million pesos to land reform beneficiaries. The portfolio aims to expand agrarian reform cooperatives with assistance to become eligible organizations and finance service providers.
Landbank has helped a total of 2.98 million farmers and fishermen. In October, the bank recorded an increase of 13,125 beneficiaries, of which 10,189 received regular loans from the 2.97 million beneficiaries of the previous month.
Last year, Landbank loans for agriculture increased nearly 1% to 237.62 billion pesos from 236.31 billion pesos in 2019 as financial institutions had to expand their support for loans to the sector during the pandemic.
Agricultural enterprises received the largest share at 142.75 billion pesos, local governments and state-owned enterprises next came in at 50.89 billion pesos, while farmers and fishermen acquired 43.98 billion pesos .