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LBP offers loans to hog raisers

COMMERCIAL hog raisers in areas free from African Swine Fever (ASF) can now expand their operations by availing loans from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

This after the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the LBP forged a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the implementation of the “Special Window and Interim Support to Nurture Hog Enterprises (SWINE)” lending program, with an initial P15-billion portfolio.

DA Secretary William Dar said the program aims to increase hog production and stabilize pork supply and prices.

We sincerely thank Land Bank of the Philippines, led by its president Cecilia Borromeo, for being a constant and strong partner of the Department of Agriculture in helping develop and grow the country’s agriculture, fishery and agribusiness sector,” said Dar during the MOA signing ceremony at the DA-BSWM convention hall in Quezon City.

Sustaining the growth and modernization of our agriculture sector is primordial as food security is a national concern that we must address seriously and urgently, given the exponential population growth and the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.

Dar further explained that the LandBank’s SWINE lending program is a much-needed boost as the Duterte administration pursues a twin hog repopulation and Bantay ASF sa Barangay program.

Rest assured of LandBank’s support to your agency’s swine repopulation program to increase local hog production at the soonest possible time. Makakaasa rin po ang ating mga hog raiser at pork producer sa agarang pagsuporta ng LandBank sa kanilang mga pampinansyal na pangangailangan,” said Borromeo, who led other bank officials during the event.

Borromeo added that aside from commercial hog raisers, other groups like farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs), small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and agribusiness enterprises and corporations can avail of LandBank SWINE loans.

She added that qualified borrowers will be provided with technical assistance, hog insurance, and ASF biosecurity support from the DA.

Several DA offices and agencies — particularly the National Livestock Program, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Agricultural Training Institute-International Training Center for Pig Husbandry (ATI-ITCPH), Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS), and Regional Field Offices (RFOs) — will coordinate with LandBank lending centers to promote the SWINE lending portfolio, in support of the DA’s hog repopulation program, called Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE).

Further, said DA offices will provide LandBank with a list of potential borrowers, and certify that their project location is within the “green, yellow or pink” zones, based on the updated ASF zoning map. They will also provide training on biosecurity management and breeding/rearing of hogs to interested investors, and provide agribusiness and marketing assistance, among other services.

The LandBank lending centers, on the other hand, will conduct program promotion, accept and evaluate loan applications, facilitate approval and release of loan, and collect loan repayments.

Under the SWINE lending program, borrowers may avail of a loan, up to 80 percent of the project cost, with a fixed interest of three percent for three years, and thereafter subject to annual interest rate repricing. The loan may be paid up to five years.

Aside from hog production, the loan may be used for related purposes, like: acquisition and import of semen or breeding animals; feed milling operations; construction, improvement or retrofitting of facilities in compliance with the DA biosecurity protocols; acquisition of fixed assets; and as working capital.

The SWINE lending program adds up to a host of other DA-LandBank partnerships to to sustain the growth, modernization and industrialization of Philippine agriculture, namely the: rice competitiveness enhancement program (RCEP); rice farmers financial assistance (RFFA); financial subsidy for rice farmers (FSRF); and expanded survival and recovery assistance (SURE-AID), among other collaborative undertaking.