P15B fund may cover backyard hograisers

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    The Landbank of the Philippines is eyeing the possibility of expanding its P15-billion Special Window and Interim Support to Nurture Hog Enterprises (SWINE) lending program to cover not just commercial raisers but backyard raisers as well.

    “We currently have a delineation… The P15 billion is only for commercial raisers at the moment since the DA-ACPC (Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Credit Policy Council) already has a program for backyard and semi-commercial raisers,” said Edgardo Luzano, Landbank assistant vice president, in an online briefing yesterday.

    The DA-ACPC has an initial P500 million budget for its own financing program.

    Luzano said Landbank can lend up to 80 percent of the total project cost with the 20 percent as equity from commercial raisers in areas without incidences of African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in the last 90 days.

    Short-term loans will have a fixed interest rate of 3 percent per annum for three years, subject to annual repricing thereafter and will have a tenor of one year while term loans for permanent working capital is payable up to five years with fixed asset acquisition payable based on the cash flow or payback period of the project.

    In the same briefing, DA spokesman Noel Reyes said as of March 19, ASF has affected 12 regions, 475 cities and municipalities, 42 provinces and 2,490 barangays that led to the culling of 450,019 hogs.

    Reyes said the positivity rate of ASF has declined as of March 19 with positive samples now at 178 compared to the highest recorded level of 1,773 in August 2020.

    Last week, Landbank launched the SWINE lending program for commercial hog raisers registered as cooperatives or farmers’ associations, small and medium enterprises and large enterprises or corporations.

    Loans under the program shall be used for the acquisition or importation of semen or breeding animals; feed milling operations; the construction, improvement or retrofitting of necessary facilities that are compliant to biosecurity protocols of DA, the industry or integrators; acquisition of fixed assets; and as working capital.

    The SWINE program will be available until Dec. 31, 2026 in line with the government’s hog re-population plan.

    For its part, the DA will provide the list of eligible program borrowers and assist them in the preparation of a business plan, enrollment in the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. and in securing necessary permits.

    It will also provide loan recipients trainings on biosecurity management and breeding of hogs while engaging the services of different organizations in capability building and implementation of biosecurity protocols.