MANILA – In line with its special focus to serve the needs of the country’s agriculture sector, the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) reported it has assisted over 2 million small farmers and fishers (SFFs) nationwide.
As of end-September, Landbank assisted a total of 2,396,259 SFFs, exceeding its full-year target of 2 million and more than double the 1,032,982 cumulative number of SFFs supported in 2019.
About 1,630,602 — 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.
Also included were the 716,897 small farmers assisted through the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance and Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers programs of the DA.
The remaining 48,760 farmers were supported through the Financial Literacy Training Program of the Landbank Countryside Development Foundation, Inc. conducted in unbanked municipalities nationwide.
“Three months before the end of 2020, Landbank already surpassed its year-end target of assisting 2 million small farmers and fishers 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,” Landbank president and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo said in a statement Monday.
This is further illustrated by the continued expansion of Landbank’s outstanding loans to the agriculture sector, which grew from PHP224.66 billion in August to PHP230.34 billion in September.
Of the PHP230.34 billion worth of agricultural loans, PHP34.97 billion were lent to small farmers and fishers, cooperatives and farmers associations, rural financial institutions, and other conduits.
Some PHP195.36 billion were provided to other players in the agribusiness value chain.
Landbank expects to further expand its agricultural loan portfolio to PHP245 billion by the end of the year. (PR)