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LandBank opens P333 million credit facility for coconut farmers

State-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) opened a P333.3-million credit facility which coconut farmers can tap to boost their working capital and increase production.

Under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development (CFID) Lending Program, eligible coconut farmers and associations can use the financing for projects such as the establishment of intercrops and poultry or livestock integration in their farms.

Individual farmers can use the funds for working capital, increase production, and acquire machines and equipment, while cooperatives and associations can use it for financing for relending and rediscounting.

The lending program comprises P83.3 million from LandBank funds, and P250 million from the Credit Component Allocation under the Coconut Farmers Industry Trust Fund enacted in February 2021.

“The CFID Lending Program forms part of the national government’s whole-of-nation approach towards providing meaningful investments to the coconut industry,” LandBank President and Chief Executive Officer Cecilia Borromeo said.

“LandBank remains committed to providing accessible and affordable credit to coconut farmers nationwide to help improve their livelihood,” she added.

The program is set to run until 2071 as it seeks to accommodate as many players as possible.

LandBank is mandated to promote countryside development while remaining financially viable. It implements the comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP), provides assistance to small farmers and fisherfolk, and serves as an official depository of government funds.

In terms of assets, the lender was the second-biggest bank in the Philippines as of September 2022 with P2.761 trillion.

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), coconut production posted a 1% increase in the fourth quarter of 2022, but the whole sector saw a full-year drop in production to mark the third straight year of contraction. — DVM, GMA Integrated News