LANDBANK loans to agriculture, fisheries sectors top P261 billion in 2022

LAND BANK of the Philippines (LANDBANK) said on Tuesday that it granted loans to farmers and fisherfolk totaling P261.7 billion in 2022, supporting 3.5 million borrowers.

It added in a statement that more than 766,000 or 22% of these were in the Philippines’ 20 poorest provinces.

The bank said it hopes to lend to 3.6 million farmers and fisherfolk this year.

The bank said it will be partnering with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to identify potential loan clients.

“LANDBANK continues to service the growth requirements of all players in the agribusiness value chain, making it the biggest lender to the agriculture sector. We remain committed to delivering timely and accessible credit to boost economic activities in the countryside and the country’s overall food production,” LANDBANK President and Chief Executive Officer Cecilia C. Borromeo said in a statement.

The areas with the most beneficiaries were Nueva Ecija, Maguindanao, Bohol, Leyte, Pangasinan, Cotabato, Isabela, Cagayan, South Cotabato, and Ilocos Sur, the bank said.

LANDBANK said it released P15.3 billion last year under programs jointly implemented with the DA which supported over 252,000 borrowers.

It also released P751.7 million to 229 agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations under programs jointly implemented with the DAR.

LANDBANK said that of the P261.7 billion in outstanding loans posted in 2022, P46.6 billion directly benefited small farmers and fisherfolk. These included cooperatives, farmers’ associations, rural financial institutions, and other conduits.

Meanwhile, P87.8 million was used to finance the construction of 953.7 kilometers of farm-to-market roads, 4.5 kilometers of bridges, 50 public markets, 14 irrigation systems, and more in collaboration with local government units (LGUs), LANDBANK said. 

The bank also said that P66.5 billion of the total loans financed livestock and crop production, while P107.4 billion was deployed to agri-processing and trading projects.

It added that P166.8 billion was allocated to support small, medium, and large agribusiness enterprises, while P48.3 billion supported agri-aqua-related projects of LGUs and government-owned and -controlled corporations.

LANDBANK booked a net profit of P30.1 billion in 2022 on improved interest income, commissions, and foreign exchange gains. — Aaron Michael C. Sy