State-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) said the bank is ready and capable to provide credit to coconut and coffee farmers.
This is the assurance made by LandBank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo during the webinar series “Coco-Kwentuhan sa Negosyo” organized by the Philippine Coconut Authority’s (PCA) which was organized in partnership with the Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines, Inc. (CAMP)
According to her, LandBank is ready to support coconut and coffee stakeholders through its existing lending programs with low interest rates.
Under the Coconut Production and Processing Financing (Coco-Financing) program, for instance, LandBank is extending credit assistance to coconut farmers and other industry stakeholders engaged in the production and processing of coconut-based products.
The bank is also providing credit support to stakeholders involved in the production of high-value crops like coffee, as well as abaca, banana, cacao, rubber, and vegetables, through the Sulong Saka Program or High Value Crops Financing Program.
Aside from promoting crop production, the program also supports projects that involve the processing and marketing of high value commodities.
The LandBank Coco-Financing Program and Sulong Saka Program are open to individual small farm holders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), cooperatives and farmers’ association, large agribusiness enterprises/corporations, Local Government Units (LGUs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and Countryside Financial Institutions (CFIs).
Eligible borrowers may apply for a loan under these programs with an affordable interest based on prevailing market benchmark rate.
For smallholder farmer, interest rate of 5 percent per annum to fund coconut and coffee production, including new plantation, replanting, rejuvenation and rehabilitation; establishment of nursery gardens; post-harvest activities such as fermentation, drying, roasting, grinding/packaging and storage; processing/milling; and manufacturing and trading.
Production loans under the Coco-Financing Program and Sulong Saka Program are payable based on crop cycle/gestation and payback period of the project.
Tenor for fixed asset acquisition is based on project cash flow but not more than the economic useful life of fixed assets or remaining useful life for second hand/refurbished machines.
For permanent working capital and working capital, tenor of up to three years and one year is provided, respectively.
Meanwhile, Borromeo also expressed support for the establishment of coconut-based farming systems, and the adoption of coconut-coffee intercropping to help coconut farmers become more profitable.
As explained by National Scientist and CAMP Chairman Emil Q. Javier during the webinar, coconut-based farming is the practice of growing other high-value crops, such as coffee, cacao, bananas, papaya, pineapple and vegetables, under the coconuts.
Considering the increasing demand for coffee in the country, he said that intercropping of coffee with coconut trees will help farmers generate more income.
“We fully agree that a coconut-based farming system will increase productivity and farmers’ income, and promote value-adding operation. We also support promoting the adoption of coconut-coffee intercrop. Aside from the technical requirement for shade to young coffee plants, this production model will lead to increased land productivity and farmers’ income,” Borromeo said.
Interested borrowers of the LandBank Coco-Financing Program and Sulong Saka Program may contact the nearest open Landbank Lending Center or Branch nationwide.