DBP to offer loans for coconut farmers

STATE-RUN Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) said on Thursday that it opened a special credit facility for coconut farmers, to finance projects all along the coconut value chain.

The Coconut Farmers and Industry Development (CFID) Credit Program will focus on capacity expansion, farm integration, and enterprise diversification to increase production and raise farmer incomes, DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Michael O. de Jesus said in a statement.

“We believe that a robust agribusiness sector is one of the keys to achieving a food-secure Philippines. Through this new loan program, DBP aims to pave the way for coconut farmers and agri-preneurs to thrive in a highly competitive market,” he said.

Coconut farmers can borrow up to 90% of the total project cost, the bank added.

DBP said 75% of the loan will be financed by the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund, while the remaining 25% will come from DBP funds.

Eligible for the facility are coconut farmer enterprises, cooperatives, and related organizations, the DBP said.

Loan proceeds include the acquisition of machinery and equipment, establishment of production and post-production facilities, as well as intercropping initiatives and livestock or poultry integration in coconut farms.

Mr. De Jesus said the CFID was launched in support of the Department of Agriculture’s efforts to strengthen the development of the industry and boost food production.

“DBP is ready to provide financing to viable projects and will continue to work towards redefining the traditional approach to agriculture lending by putting greater emphasis on the value chain and business side of the spectrum,” Mr. De Jesus stated.

DBP is eighth-largest bank in the Philippines by assets, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

It posted a net profit of P5.6 billion in 2022, up 50% on the back of improved interest income and loan volumes. — Aaron Michael C. Sy