The amount of loans that state-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) has lent to the agriculture sector slightly increased from January to June, mostly benefiting agribusinesses and projects of several small to large enterprises and local government units (LGUs).
In a statement, LandBank said the loans that it lent the agriculture sector during the first half of the year increased by 4 percent to P227.47 billion from the P219.62 billion during the same period last year.
Of these loans, only P35.63 billion was provided directly to small farmers, fishers, cooperatives, and farmers associations, including outstanding loans of farmers and fishers which grew by P219 million or 18.37 percent from P1.19 billion in May to P1.41 billion in June.
Meanwhile, loans to other players in the agri-business value chain stood at P191.84 billion, of which P141.67 billion was lent to small, medium, and large agribusiness enterprises, while P50.17 billion went to agri-aqua related projects of local government units (LGUs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).
Nevertheless, LandBank is claiming that it assisted 1.97 million cumulative small farmers and fishers as of June, representing a 98.8 percent accomplishment over the two million cumulative target for the year.
This included the new farmers assisted under the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) program, the agency’s one-time emergency cash assistance for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rest were supported through LandBank’s various regular loan offerings and lending programs jointly implemented with the DA and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Moving forward, LandBank is aiming to assist an additional one million new farmers and fishers for the rest of the year.
“Now more than ever, LandBank continues to exert greater focus on driving support for the agriculture sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the whole-of-government approach, our strong partnerships with the Department of Agriculture and Department of Agrarian Reform have allowed us to fulfill our mandate of reaching and assisting more small farmers and fishers nationwide than ever before,” President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said.
LandBank is a government financial institution with the social mandate of promoting countryside development, servicing the financial needs of small farmers and fishers, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), countryside financial institutions (CFIs), LGUs, and government institutions.