LANDBANK boosts support to farmers, fishers through retail loans
The government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) is further expanding its retail lending programs as it intensifies its support for small farmers and fishers.
“As we seek to reach more farmers nationwide, we are heavily focusing on making retail loans accessible, especially to those who are not members of associations or cooperatives and are unable to obtain loans from formal lending institutions on their own,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
While it continues to channel financing support to the sector through partner conduits such as farmers and fishers’ cooperatives, irrigators’ associations, and countryside financial institutions, the Bank is aggressively strengthening its retail lending programs to provide more individual borrowers with direct access to credit.
A newly-enhanced direct lending program is the Accessible Funds For Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (AFFORD-ARBs) Program, which will specifically cater to ARBs engaged in production of rice, corn, and high-value crops. The loan can also be used for the acquisition of small farm implements.
The Program is a partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), which will provide the Bank with a list of ARBs and mobilize borrowers for loan orientation and financial literacy seminars prior to loan release to ensure ARBs are equipped with the basic knowledge to manage their finances and learn about farm planning and budgeting.
LANDBANK also implements the Empowering Barangays in Remote Areas through Credit and Enterprise (EMBRACE), a direct lending program with relaxed features and requirements for small farmers and fishers, as well as microenterprises and small enterprises (MSEs) in unserved municipalities.
Eligible projects include agricultural crop, livestock, and fishery production, as well as agri-enterprise and other livelihood projects.