With only about two months left in 2020, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) is still targeting to end 2020 with slightly higher amount of loans lent to the agriculture sector.
In a statement, LANDBANK expects to further expand its agricultural loan portfolio to P245 billion by the end of the year, which is 4 percent higher than the P236.31 billion lent in 2019.
So far, LANDBANK’s outstanding loans to the agriculture sector already grew by P5.68 billion from P224.66 billion in August to P230.34 billion in September.
Of the total agricultural loans, however, only P34.97 billion were lent to small farmers and fishers (SFF) as well as cooperatives and farmers associations, rural financial institutions and other conduits.
The rest or P195.36 billion, were provided to other players in the agribusiness value chain.
LANDBANK is a government financial institution with the social mandate of promoting countryside development, servicing the financial needs of SFF as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), countryside financial institutions (CFIs), Local Government Units (LGU), and government institutions.
Last year, the state-run bank earned the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte for failing to perform its mandate of providing loans to farmers and fishermen, the country’s poorest sub-sectors.
Duterte, in a previous State of the Nation Address (SONA), even went as far as threatening to shut down LANDBANK.
On Monday, LANDBANK also reported that as of September this year, it already assisted a total of 2.39 million SFFs, exceeding its full-year target of two million, and more than double the 1.03 million cumulative number of SFFs supported in 2019.
About 1.6 million—accounting for 68 percent of the total—were provided assistance through the Bank’s regular loan offerings and lending programs jointly implemented with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Also included were the 716,897 small farmers assisted through the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) and Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) Programs of the DA.
The remaining 48,760 farmers were supported through the Financial Literacy Training Program of the LANDBANK Countryside Development Foundation, Inc. (LCDFI) conducted in unbanked municipalities nationwide.
“This accomplishment attests to our continuing commitment that LANDBANK, together with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform, remains steadfast in its support to the agriculture sector,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.