THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) surpassed its 2019 target for lending to the agricultural sector with disbursements of P236.31 billion, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

LANDBANK’s loans to the farm and fisheries sector exceeded the P231.25-billion target set for the year, the DoF said in a statement Tuesday.

LANDBANK’s agricultural loans accounted for 26.50% of its P891.77-billion loan portfolio for 2019.

The bank lent P1.25 billion to farmers and P43.57 billion to cooperatives and farmers’ associations via rural financial institutions and other conduits.

Meanwhile, it lent P137.88 billion to small, medium, and large agribusiness enterprises and P53.61 billion to agri-aqua related projects of local government units and government-owned and -controlled corporations.

LANDBANK lent a total of P18.73 billion to the crops subsector for 2019. Livestock accounted for P34.14 billion, while fisheries sector cornered P1.92 billion of the loans to the agriculture sector.

Agri-processing and trading received P75.08 billion while P106.44 billion went to related projects like farm-to-market roads, public markets, warehouses, irrigation systems, cold storage facilities, and slaughterhouses.

LANDBANK also met its target of providing credit to one million farmers, the DoF said.

Republic Act (RA) No. 10000 or the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act, requires banks to issue at 15% percent of their total loans to farmers and fisherfolk, plus an additional 10% for agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that LANDBANK is the only bank which complied with the Agri-Agra Law.

LANDBANK is the government’s channel for distributing cash transfers under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which supports poor families, and the Pantawid Pasada program, which provides fuel subsidies for jeepney operators. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave