The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) conveyed its steadfast commitment to provide responsive financing to farmers, fishers, and other players in the agribusiness value chain during the culmination of its Online Stakeholder’s Consultation Forum on April 22, 2021.
LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo assured stakeholders of the Bank’s continued efforts in addressing emerging challenges and issues faced by clients in accessing agricultural credit amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We welcome the issues raised and suggestions gathered from clients during the focus group discussions, and we commit to provide direct and time-bound solutions. Listening to the voice of the customer is high in our agenda as it helps us improve on the delivery of our products and services,” according to Borromeo.
The Online Stakeholder’s Consultation Forum was conducted last March as a venue for knowledge sharing on concrete actions that will help LANDBANK improve the accessibility of its lending products and services, especially under the new normal. Online survey and focus group discussions were conducted to gain insights and suggestions from farmers and fishers, agri-input suppliers, aggregators and traders, processors, and wholesalers and exporters.
The plenary session of the online forum was also attended by the LANDBANK Board of Directors and their alternates, namely Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William D. Dar, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary Luis Meinrado C. Pañgulayan, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Benjo Santos M. Benavidez, Director Nancy D. Irlanda, Director Jesus V. Hinlo, Jr., Director Jaime L. Miralles, and Director Virgilio DV. Robes.
Support to agriculture sector
As of March 31, 2021, LANDBANK’s total loan portfolio to the agriculture sector grew by 4.8% to P229.70 billion from P219.24 billion last February. The increase is primarily attributed to a 9.5% rise in loans released to small, medium and large enterprises.
This developed despite a recent report from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that total outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks for production to agriculture, forestry, and fishing fell by 6.1% year-on-year in February.
Of the P229.70 billion in total outstanding loans to the sector, P36.27 billion benefitted small farmers and fishers, cooperatives and farmers’ associations, rural financial institutions and other conduits.
Small, medium, and large agribusiness enterprises were granted P143.11 billion, while P50.32 billion was channeled to support agri-aqua related projects of local government units (LGUs) as we as that of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).
LANDBANK has assisted cumulatively 2,696,839 farmers and fishers nationwide as of end-March, recording increases of 14,147 beneficiaries from February and 25,990 for the first three months of the year.
Just recently, LANDBANK announced it is doubling the available loan facility to support local hog producers and feed millers from P15 billion to P30 billion to finance stock repopulation and feed milling operations of stakeholders reeling from the adverse impact of the African Swine Fever (ASF).
The funds will be available through the LANDBANK SWINE (Special Window and Interim Support to Nurture Hog Enterprises) Lending Program for commercial hog raisers registered as cooperatives or farmers’ associations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and large enterprises or corporations.
This came following the directive from Department of Finance Secretary and LANDBANK Chairman Carlos Dominguez III for the state lender to double its support for hog raisers, feed millers, and other industry players dealing with supply shortfalls and retail price spirals of pork products.
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