Landbank's AgriSenso aids farmers

THE Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) has gathered farmers and stakeholders to discuss the national government’s support interventions to boost the local production of plantation crops, as part of the bank’s commitment to serve the diverse requirements of the agriculture sector.

During the recent sixth run of the Landbank AgriSenso Virtual Forums, Department of Agriculture (DA) Bureau of Plant Industry officer-in-charge Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban and Landbank assistant vice president Edgardo S. Luzano led the discussions on the available technical and credit assistance for farmers engaged in the production of plantation crops such as banana, cacao, coffee, rubber and pineapple.

They were joined by Kennemer Foods International Inc. president Simon Bakker and Goodyear Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative or Garbemco operations manager Mark Horace E. Gregorio, who shared how Landbank’s affordable financing programs helped expand their operations and boost their income.

For his part, Panganiban shared updates on the local industries of plantation crops, as well as challenges experienced by the subsector, which include limited infrastructure and post-harvest facilities, high cost of production and limited access to quality planting materials, among others.

To address these challenges, he presented various support interventions for farmers under the DA’s High-Value Crops Development Program, including the distribution of planting materials, machineries and equipment, construction of facilities, and capacity building activities for farmers.

Lending programs

Meanwhile, Luzano presented Landbank’s available credit programs to further strengthen support for the various industries of plantation crops.

Under the Sulong Saka Program, Landbank can finance the production of high-value crops and other related projects such as the establishment of nursery, budwood/mother plant/parent clone gardens, as well as the establishment of new plantations and the replanting, rejuvenation and rehabilitation of old trees.

Individual small farm holders, small and medium enterprises, cooperatives, farmers associations and organizations, large agribusiness enterprises and corporations, local government units, non-government organizations (NGOs), and countryside financial institutions may avail themselves of the loans under the program.

As of end-October, Landbank had approved P17.8 billion in loans to 1,245 borrowers under the Landbank Sulong Saka Lending Program.

To support the agricultural value chains of cacao, coffee, coconut, and processed fruits and nuts, Landbank is also offering the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth or Rapid Growth Credit Facility in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

This credit facility aims to provide strategic business development interventions and matching grants to support qualified Program beneficiaries endorsed by the DTI, including cooperatives, farmers’ associations and organizations, NGOs, and micro, small and medium enterprises in selected provinces in Regions 8, 9 10, 11, 12, 13 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Loans availed under the facility can be used for production, including the development of new plantation, replanting, rejuvenation, and rehabilitation of old trees; establishment of nursery gardens; post-harvest activities; processing or manufacturing, packaging and storing, as well as trading.

Jointly organized by the Landbank Corporate Affairs Group and Lending Program Management Group, the Landbank AgriSenso Virtual Forums form part of the Bank’s response to the request of customers and stakeholders to have more opportunities to learn more about the Bank’s available credit facilities.