LAND BANK of the Philippines (LANDBANK) lent P231.47 billion to nearly 2.6 million farmers, fisherfolk and agribusiness owners in the first 11 months of 2020, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

Citing a report from the bank, the DoF said in statement on Monday that the total was equivalent to 94.5% of LANDBANK’s full-year agriculture lending target of P245 billion.

Around 2.588 million farmers and fisherfolk were able to obtain loans during the period, higher than the state-run bank’s goal to cover two million borrowers in 2020.

Broken down, two-thirds or P144.13 billion of the loans went to small, medium and large agribusinesses; 21.7% or P50.16 billion were obtained by local government units and state-owned companies for their agri-aqua related projects; and 16% or P37.38 billion went to small scale farmers and fisherfolk. 

Farmers and fisherfolk mostly used conduits such as cooperatives and associations, rural lenders and other lending schemes to borrow, LANDBANK said, as loans coursed through these channels totalled P36.04 billion, while direct lending only amounted to P1.34 billion.

As one the government’s main partners in implementing social programs, the bank processed P8.31 billion worth of loans for the programs of the Agriculture department such as the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act, the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, and the Survival and Recovery Assistance for rice farmers.

Programs by the Department of Agrarian Reform administered by LANDBANK translated to P65 million in loans.

In terms of economic activity, 45% of the total loans granted in those 11 months went to building irrigation systems and post-harvest facilities with a combined value of P104.19 billion.

Meanwhile, around 30% or P71.5 billion funded agri-processing and trading activities, 16% or P36.69 billion for livestock, eight percent or P17.59 billion for crops, and less than one percent or P1.67 billion for the fisheries sub-sector. — BML