Landbank offers funding for young agripreneurs
MANILA— Government-run Land Bank of the Philippines has started a new credit facility that aims to draw more young Filipinos to the local agriculture sector in a bid to boost growth and ensure sustainability of the farm industry.
Landbank recently launched the Young Entrepreneurs from School to Agriculture Program (YESAP), a credit facility for young entrepreneurs looking to venture into agrirelated businesses.
“We hope to encourage and equip more of our Filipino youth to go into agri-entrepreneurship by introducing viable projects and providing access to credit and technical training,” Landbank president and CEO Alex Buenaventura said.
YESAP is open to sole proprietors aged 18 to 35 with viable startup or existing projects in agricultural and fishery production, trading, processing, servicing or distribution of agricultural crops and commodities.
Young entrepreneurs can borrow for working capital, land acquisition, purchase of farm inputs, tools, equipment, and farm implements, and construction of mill, storage, dryer and other facilities.
Loanable amount is from P50,000 per borrower to up to 90 percent of the total project cost.
Landbank will also forge an agreement with institutions for the provision of technical assistance, such as coaching and mentoring on how to start and maintain business, agribusiness and agronomy training, creditworthiness training, and business plan preparation.
YESAP is part of Landbank’s compliance to the Youth Entrepreneurship Act, which mandates government financial institutions to implement programs that include financing and information services, and training and marketing support for young entrepreneurs.
Apart from YESAP, Landbank also offers the Gawad Patnubay Scholarship Program (GPSP), an education-toemployment (E2E) program that supports underprivileged students who want to specialize in agriculture and fisheries.
GPSP specifically targets children of agrarian reform beneficiaries taking up agriculture-related courses and covers full subsidy of tuition fee, including monthly stipend, book allowance, thesis writing, and uniform costs.
Since 2013, the GPSP has supported over 100 scholars, with 100 percent of its graduates now employed in Landbank and its subsidiaries, in partner-institutions such as the International Rice Research Institute, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Carabao Center, Harbest Agribusiness Corp., and other agriculture-related firms.
“Landbank believes in investing on our youth to develop future agripreneurs and professionals who will be instrumental in revitalizing the agriculture sector,” Buenaventura said.