Farmers, fisherfolk need more access to loans
Loans released to the agricultural sector account for only 2 percent of the total loan portfolio, with 47 percent of farmers still borrowing from private and informal sources, Agricultural Credit Policy Council executive director Jovita Corpuz said.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, quoting Corpuz, said about 53 percent of farmers and fishermen can get loans exclusively from formal sources or banks.
Corpuz said 40 percent borrow from private, nonbank lenders. The remaining 7 percent borrow from both formal and informal sources.
She added that only 0.6 percent goes to agricultural production.
The Department of Agriculture and the ACPC turned over a P500-million funding package to Land Bank last Friday for lending to farmers and fisherfolk.
The credit program seeks to answer the needs of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) for projects such as agricultural crop production, agri-enterprise and livelihood projects.
Initiated through the CARPER Law (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms), the program caters to new ARBs that are not yet eligible under the LandBank’s lending programs and existing ARBs that have no access to the formal credit market.