The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) gathered small farmers and fishers, agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), and their organizations to discuss the National Government’s development plan towards building sustainable and resilient agrarian reform communities.
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development (BARBD) Director Dr. Ronald M. Gareza, CESO IV and LANDBANK Program Management Department I Head, Assistant Vice President Edgardo S. Luzano led the discussions during the fourth run of the LANDBANK AgriSenso Virtual Forum on 24 October 2022.
They were joined by agriculture partners and loan availers, namely Mauanan Baluncanag Gaddangao Farmers Irrigators Credit Cooperative Treasurer Sharon B. Eugenio, Southern Isabela ARB Charibel Francesca, and Batangas Egg Producers Multi-Purpose Cooperative Director Cecille A. Virtucio, who shared how LANDBANK and DAR have assisted to enhance their productivity and income.
Director Gareza discussed the various interventions that DAR has been carrying out to help address the challenges facing ARBs in land tenure and disputes. He also underscored the importance of support services, including capacity development and credit and marketing assistance, to support and ease the burden of ARBs.
Meanwhile, AVP Luzano, together with Program Officers Glecy Angeles and Crisso Pernito, presented the features of the various credit programs being offered by LANDBANK for ARBs and their organizations.
Accessible financing for ARBs, ARBOs
LANDBANK and DAR have been working closely to extend affordable financing and support services for ARBs and their organizations.
Under the Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (AFFORD-ARBs) Program, LANDBANK provides direct credit assistance to individual ARBs who are not yet members of Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs). The loans can be used for the production of rice, corn and high-value crops, and acquisition of small farm implements, such as hand tractors and power tillers.
The Bank has released a total of P506.1 million to 2,200 borrowers under the AFFORD-ARBs Program as of 30 September 2022.
LANDBANK, in partnership with DAR, also implements the Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development (CAP-PBD), designed for ARBOs that are not yet qualified to borrow under the regular lending window of the Bank.
The Program provides credit assistance and support services to ARBs through their respective organizations for crop production, agri-enterprise or livelihood and other agri-related projects.
LANDBANK and DAR also offer the Expanded Assistance to Restore and Install Sustainable Enterprises for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries and Small Farm Holders (E-ARISE-ARBs), designed to assist ARBOs which and whose members were adversely affected by natural calamities or disasters, pests and diseases, and other viral infections or outbreaks.
As of September 2022, LANDBANK’s combined releases under CAP-PBD and E-ARISE-ARBs have reached P736.4 million, benefitting 219 ARBOs with more than 11,000 ARBs and small farm holder-members nationwide.
Qualified ARBOs can also avail of credit assistance under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) Lending Program of LANDBANK, which can be used to purchase orders or contract receivables from government agencies for the provision of needed food items.
The Program supports the government’s efforts to address hunger, poverty, food security and nutrition, through community participation in government contracts.
LANDBANK’s total loan releases under the EPAHP Lending Program have reached P9.6 million to seven agri suppliers as of September 2022.