LandBank’s agri dev’t loans post double-digit growth in ’23

State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) said its loans to agriculture and rural development recorded double-digit growth in 2023.

In a statement Monday, LandBank said outstanding loans to the entire agricultural value chain amounted to P755.1 billion as of end-December 2023, higher by 23% than the P614.8 billion recorded in the third quarter. The amount accounts for about 51% of the bank’s total loan portfolio last year.

LandBank said growth was mainly driven by strategic financing for agriculture and fisheries production, sustainable projects, and public rural infrastructure under Republic Act No. 11901, otherwise known as “The Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development Financing Enhancement Act of 2022.”

The bank said P255.2 billion was allocated for agriculture, fisheries and rural development-backed rural infrastructure projects, such as public markets, highways, and transport systems while P186.3 billion supported projects to mitigate climate change and promote responsible resource management.

To support agriculture and fisheries production, the bank provided P118.1 billion for the processing of fisheries and agri-based products, and farm inputs, P70 million of which was dedicated to modernizing farming practices and business processes.

Off-farm and fishery entrepreneurship likewise received P61.6 billion, while projects promoting the health and wellness of agri-players and beneficiaries were allocated P43.4 billion.

The rest of the bank’s AFRD financing covers various aspects of the agri-value chain, including marketing, processing, distribution, shipping and logistics, storage of agricultural and fishery commodities, construction, acquisition and repair of facilities, agri-tourism, and agricultural mechanization, among others.

LandBank projects its AFRD loans to reach P825 billion by the end of 2024, due to the growing requirements for public rural infrastructure and sustainable green projects.

“As LANDBANK’s role in nation-building continues to expand, our commitment to advancing countryside development has remained steadfast,” LandBank president and chief executive officer Lynette Ortiz said.

“Through accessible financing and support interventions, we are empowering communities and enriching lives, while boosting the national government’s inclusive and sustainable development agenda,” she added. (With PNA)