The hands that feed the nation during the lockdown which are the farmers and fihers were beneficiaries of a total P3.02 billion in loans up to the end of last month, according to state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank).
LandBank, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), provided financial assistance to individual farmers and fishers, as well as their cooperatives and associations, to help increase their productivity and profitability.
Under the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) Lending Program, the Bank has released a total of P2.5 billion in loans to 19,367 eligible borrowers as of 30 June 2020. Of the total borrowers, 19,189 are small farmers and fishers, 119 are micro and small enterprises (MSE) and 59 are cooperatives or associations.
Direct lending under the ACEF has a low interest rate of two percent per annum.
Individual farmers and fishers may use the loan to purchase inputs and equipment or for farm improvement. For MSE, cooperatives and associations, the loan may be used for the acquisition of machineries, equipment and facilities for agri-based production and post-production, as well as processing.
LandBank has released a total of P527.3 million in loans to 3,115 rice farmers and 22 cooperatives as of end-June 2020 under the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund Program.