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.


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