Land Bank of the Philippines president and chief executive officer Alex Buenaventurasaid yesterday he recently launched a program where LBP will finance agri-business companies to boost farm production and increase incomes of farmers.
This is not the same as the “corporatives” in Negros, as the farmers retain ownership of their land and just enter into a farm management agreement with the corporation, Buenaventura said.
The LBP president was in Bacolod City for the groundbreaking of the Christ the Redeemer Columbarium Complex of Teresa Development Corp., headed by its chairman Ramon Lacson,in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City.
“We will consolidate big tracks of land, thousands of hectares, and interested companieswill borrow big amounts from the LBP to modernize production,” he said.
The company will help increase production, buy the produce from the farmers at a good price, and employ the farmers as laborers, he said.
This is a new concept that has not been done yet and the initial three projects will involve farms producing bananas, rice and palm oil, he said.
This program will also be made available for the sugar industry, he added.
“We are more interested in areas that have been subjected to agrarian reform and most of them are in Negros,” he said.
He said they are looking forward to talking to agrarian reform sugar farmers in Negros about the farmers' corporation approach.
LBP will then get Presidential Agrarian Reform Council confirmation for the farmers' corporationsto avoid legal problems, he added.
Edward John Reyes, LBP Executive Vice President - Agricultural and Development Lending Sector, also said LBP is coming out with the guidelines for farmers to avail of loans provided under the Sugar Industry Development Act in the first quarter of this year.
There were renegotiations on the push for lower interest rates on the SIDA loans, he said.*CPG
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