The Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) said last Tuesday that its total lending to the agricultural sector rose by 5.5% last year to 261.7 billion pesos from 247.9 billion pesos in 2021.
The state lender said in a statement that LandBank’s outstanding loans to the sector grew by an average of 10.4 percent over the past decade, from 2012 to 2022.
“LandBank continues to meet the growth needs of all participants in the agribusiness value chain, making it the largest lender to the agricultural sector,” LandBank President and CEO Cecilia S. Borromeo said in a statement.
“We remain committed to providing timely and affordable loans to stimulate economic activity in the countryside and the overall food production of the country,” Borromeo added.
LandBank said that of the total provided to the agricultural sector, about 46.6 billion pesos benefited directly from small farmers and fishermen, including those channeled through cooperatives, farmers’ associations, rural financial institutions and other channels.
The bank added that 166.8 billion pesos went to small, medium and large agribusinesses, while 48.3 billion pesos supported local government (LGU) and government controlled corporations (GOCC) agri and aquaculture-related projects. .
LandBank said in a statement that livestock and crop financing accounted for 66.5 billion pesos of total agricultural loans, while 107.4 billion pesos went to processing and trading agricultural products.
“The remaining 87.8 billion pesos were used to fund other support services, including the construction and improvement of farm-to-market roads, public markets, irrigation systems and cold storage, among others,” he added.
Approximately 3.5 million farmers and fishermen throughout the country benefited from LandBank’s agricultural loans last year.
“More than 766,000 people, or 22 percent of them, came from the country’s 20 poorest provinces, further contributing to efforts to promote inclusive and sustainable development,” he added.
LandBank said the top provinces with the most bank aid recipients are Nueva Ecija, Maguindanao, Bohol, Leyte, Pangasinan, Cotabato, Isabela, Cagayan, South Cotabato and Ilocos Sur.
This year, the bank plans to increase the number of small farmers and fishermen collectively assisted by its loans to 3.6 million, among other key players in the agribusiness value chain.
LandBank said it will also step up partnerships with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to attract and serve more farmers and fishermen.
“As of the end of December 2022, the bank’s total loans under programs implemented in conjunction with the DA reached 15.3 billion pesos to support more than 252,000 borrowers,” the statement said.
“The bank has also allocated 751.7 million pesos to 229 agrarian reform beneficiary organizations through programs it is implementing in conjunction with DAR,” the bank added.
LandBank added that it is also working with LGUs across the country “to build and rehabilitate infrastructure projects critical to building an efficient agricultural value chain.”
“These include financing the construction of 953.7 km of farm-to-market roads, 4.5 km of bridges, 50 public markets and 14 irrigation systems, among others, from January to December 2022 alone,” the statement said.