The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) of the Ministry of Agriculture (DA) has deposited 1 billion pesos in LandBak as additional funding for emergency loans to small farmers and fishermen during the COVID-pandemic. 19.
In a statement, DA said it had already replenished the loan program of the Expanded Aid and Stimulus Project SURE (SURE COVID-19), which is part of the agency’s Plant, Plant, Plant program that targets to increase the country’s level of food adequacy in the midst of the pandemic. .
The new funds came from DA’s budget under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Republic Act 11494.
LandBank said the new funds can help around 40,000 eligible recipients nationwide who will be approved by ACPC and regional DA offices (DA-RFO) at the public bank’s lending centers.
Under the SURE COVID-19 loan program, eligible small farmers and fishermen can borrow up to P 25,000, without collateral, interest-free and payable over 10 years.
The loan is available to smallholder farmers and fishermen whose livelihoods and income are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic for their emergency and production needs.
An initial sum of 2.5 billion pesos has been allocated to the program to help micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) and small farmers and fishermen affected by the government-imposed quarantine lockdown to help stem the spread of the disease. pandemic.
This amount has already been fully released and has supported more than 535,000 farmers during the most critical first months of the crisis.
“This is our way of helping agro-fisheries MSEs and smallholder farmers and fishermen to recover from their losses, as they play a crucial role in ensuring the availability of the food supply in Metro Manila. and other urban centers, ”Dar said, noting that this helps ensure unhindered food production and supply.
At the end of November, LandBank said its cumulative loan releases for the agricultural sector amounted to 7.76 billion pesos, benefiting more than 228,000 farmers.
At the same time, LandBank recently opened two new lending centers in Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur provinces as part of its drive to expand its reach and step up support to the agricultural sector in Mindanao.
The new lending centers will provide accessible financial services and affordable credit assistance to clients in the region, including local government units (LGUs), MSMEs, land reform beneficiaries (ARBs), and smallholder farmers and fishermen to agricultural production, acquisition of equipment and labor. Capital city.
Sultan Kudarat Province has primarily an agricultural economy and is known to produce crops such as rice, corn, coconuts, coffee, bananas, mangoes, durians, and African palms.
It is also home to a few Irish potato growers in the Philippines. Likewise, the country’s largest grain processing complex is located in the province’s commercial center in Tacurong City.
Temporarily located in the town of Koronadal, the LandBank Sultan Kudarat lending center will serve nearly 17,000 small farmers and fishermen in the province engaged in agricultural production, trade and fishing.
Meanwhile, Davao del Sur is one of the fastest growing provinces in Mindanao due to the proliferation of farming businesses.
With vast agricultural lands full of fertile soils and enriched by a favorable climate, agriculture is the main source of livelihood in the province with farmers mainly producing coconut, rice, corn, bananas, cocoa. , coffee, fruits and vegetables.
The LandBank Davao del Sur Lending Center, located in Digos City, will offer various loan programs for more than 5,000 smallholder farmers and fishermen covering the provinces of Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental.
At the end of November 2020, LandBank had a network of 53 lending centers in strategic areas nationwide, with the Sultan Kudarat Lending Center and Davao del Sur Lending Center respectively being the 14th and 15th LandBank lending centers in Mindanao.
This is complemented by the 414 branches and extension offices of the Bank in the 81 provinces of the country.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
CLICK HERE TO JOIN