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P15-billion lending window for hog-raising opened

THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) announced it opened a P15-billion lending facility for borrowers planning to venture in hog raising to boost domestic pork production curtailed by the African Swine Fever.

The state-run bank said it signed last Wednesday a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the lending window it calls “Swine” or the “Special Window and Interim Support to Nurture Hog Enterprises.”

The bank said the new loan portfolio would be “available for commercial hog raisers registered as cooperatives or farmers’ associations, small and medium enterprises  and large enterprises or corporations.”

LandBank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo was quoted in a statement as saying that “by extending financing support to hog enterprises,” it would “sustain their operations and pork supply during this difficult time.”

Borromeo added they aim “aim to respond to the recovery requirements of our hog industry and contribute to ensuring food security” through the lending program.

The state-run bank explained that the loans under the program should be used for swine production, including acquisition or importation of semen or breeding animals and feed milling operations.

Eligible borrowers can also use the loan for the construction, improvement or retrofitting of necessary facilities that are compliant to biosecurity protocols of DA, the industry or integrators; acquisition of fixed assets; and as working capital, the LandBank added.

“Borrowers may avail of a short-term loan line or a term loan for up to 80 percent of their total project cost or financing requirement, with an affordable fixed interest rate of 3-percent per annum for three years, subject to annual re-pricing thereafter,” it said.

The bank added that short-term loans would have a tenor of one year while loans for permanent working capital is payable up to five years. Fixed-asset acquisition loans are payable based on the cash flow or payback period of the project, with grace period on the principal and interest, the bank added.

The agreement tasks the DA to provide the list of eligible program borrowers, assist borrowers in the preparation of a business plan, enrollment in the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. and secure necessary permits, according to the LandBank.

“The DA will also provide loan recipients training on biosecurity management and breeding or rearing of hogs, while engaging the services of different organizations in capability building and implementation of biosecurity protocols,” it added.

The state-run bank said the lending program would be available until December 31, 2026, in line with the DA’s hog re-population plan.

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