Land Bank of the Philippines on Friday said it released P40.5 billion in loans to small farmers and fisherfolk last year, up 25 percent from P32.3 billion a year earlier.
"We continue to intensify our efforts to effectively address the financing needs of our agro-fishery sector." LandBank president and CEO Gilda Pico said in a briefing Friday.
The loans were channeled through 979 cooperatives and 367 countryside financial institutions. More than 900,000 small farmers and fisherfolk benefited from the bank's credit assistance, according to the state-owned lender.
Loans for crop production surged by 17 percent to P20.9 billion from P17.9 billion. Marketing loans increased by 52 percent to P12.9 billion from P8.5 billion.
Other economic activities financed by the bank are livestock, fishery activities, agricultural services, fixed assets and manufacturing.
Regions with the highest loan releases are Central Luzon (P9.6 billion), Cagayan Valley (P5.7 billion), Central Visayas (P4.4 billion) and Northern Mindanao (P3.8 billion).
Loan releases for palay production reached P15.5 billion from P12.9 billion.
The bank recently signed an agreement with Philippine Health Insurance Corp. for a collection and remittance partnership on the premium contributions of overseas and migrant Filipino workers.
The partnership will be piloted in Hong Kong, Macau and Saudi Arabia, with a similar agreement soon to be signed for Canada and Singapore. — VS