State-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) said its total loan portfolio to the agriculture sector slightly grew to P229 billion as of March 31 or 4.8 percent higher than P219.24 billion in February, with the small, medium, and large enterprises (MSMEs) accounting for the bulk.

According to the bank, the increase was primarily attributed to a 9.5-percent rise in loans released to MSMEs.

LANDBANK’s statement came out after Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that total outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks for production to agriculture, forestry, and fishing fell by 6.1 percent year-on-year in February.

LandBank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo

Of the bank’s P229.70 billion total outstanding loans to the agriculture sector, P36.27 billion benefitted small farmers and fishers, cooperatives and farmers’ associations, rural financial institutions, and other conduits.

Small, medium, and large agribusiness enterprises, on the other hand, were granted P143.11 billion, while P50.32 billion was channeled to support agri-aqua related projects of local government units (LGUs) as we as that of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).

LANDBANK has assisted cumulatively 2.69 million farmers and fishers nationwide as of end-March, recording increases of 14,147 beneficiaries from February and 25,990 for the first three months of the year.
Just recently, LANDBANK also said it is doubling the available loan facility to support local hog producers and feed millers from P15 billion to P30 billion to finance stock repopulation and feed milling operations of stakeholders reeling from the adverse impact of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

 Moving forward, the bank committed to keep on providing responsive financing to farmers, fishers, and other players in the agribusiness value chain.

LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo assured stakeholders of the bank’s continued efforts in addressing emerging challenges and issues faced by clients in accessing agricultural credit amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Source: Manila Bulletin (