State-run Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) has financed the expansion of Virginia Farms Inc. (VFI), a move that now helps the Cebu-based company sustain its production of hogs that are safe and free from African Swine Fever (ASF).
A statement released on Thursday showed that VFI has availed a short-term loan from Landbank in 2020 as working capital for the expansion of The Pork Shop, the company’s retail business.
Though Landbank didn’t specify the amount of VFI’s newest loan, it said that in 2020 alone, it extended a P37.48 billion loan to different livestock projects across the country. Of this, P16.86 billion were lent to the piggery industry.
In Total, Landbank has extended a total of P237.62 billion in outstanding loans to the agriculture sector, with P142.75 billion representing loans to small, medium, and large agribusiness enterprises.
VFI, now regarded as the oldest and largest integrated farm-to-pork business in Central Visayas, currently operates a 360-hectare farm and a pork retail chain with 51 outlets.
VFI’s The Pork Shop started in 2008 and now has branches across Cebu, Iloilo, and Biliran.
Landbank said the growth of the 52-year-old company, especially over the last eight years, was supported by the state-run bank through its Cebu North Lending Center.
The lending center, according to Landbank, helped financed the expansion of both VFI’s business operations and the construction of its modern facilities.
VFI President Rolando E. Tambago said he hopes that Landbank will continue lending money to the company so that it could keep on supplying Luzon with ASF-free pork.
“With the current situation of the pork industry, there’s a good opportunity for us here in the Visayas to expand and meet the gap of pork supply in other areas. I hope that Landbank will continue to support us in our plans to expand and grow our business further, as we envision to be a major supplier of quality pork in the Philippines,” Tambago said further.
With its 360-hectare farm in the town of Asturias, VFI has been helping address the meat requirements in Luzon since last year as pork growers here have been largely affected by ASF.
To be specific, the company was able to ship a total of 10,760 hogs last year and continues to ship frozen carcasses weekly to the region.