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Thursday, June 13, 2024

BanKo, Agrilever team up to offer loans to farmers

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Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), through its microfinance arm BanKo, teamed up with agri-tech company Agrilever to offer a loan program targeting local farmers.

Banko on Wednesday launched the Agri NegosyoKo Loan Program, which aims to help farmers strengthen their agricultural practices and improve their livelihood. With the loan program, farmers can access loans ranging from P50,000 to P300,000.

“The Philippines is an agricultural country, and to sustain and expand farming opportunities, we must support our farmers with programs that help them grow their businesses. The Agri NegosyoKo Loan Program introduces a comprehensive approach that underscores productivity, efficiency, and the economic well-being of farmers through strategic partnerships with cooperatives and aggregators, like Agrilever,” said BanKo president Rod Mabiasen Jr.

Aside from customized loans, Maibasen said the Agri NegosyoKo Loan Program offers farmers a comprehensive suite of benefits, including financial education, protection and security, personal engagement and community involvement, a streamlined application process and incentives for responsible behavior.

BanKo is serving about 10,000 farmers. With the new program, BanKo expects serve up to 30,000 farmers in the first year of this loan program.

“The Agri NegosyoKo loan program is the fruit of our collaboration with cooperatives and aggregators. Coupled with their technological expertise, we will empower farmers and aggregators with opportunities for easier access to financing, technologies to help yield higher crops, and manage production with cost-efficiency,” said BanKo chairman Jojo Ocampo.

Agrilever, a Fil-Israeli firm, primarily offers farmers with digital agronomy services, market access, flexible financing, crop insurance, and weather systems, aiming to promote sustainability and social equity in the agricultural sector.

Through an app provided by Agrilever, farmers will be guided on when to plant, harvest, apply pesticides and fertilizers.

Agrilevel said that as most farmers do not have bank accounts or access to affordable financing, the partnership with Banko would provide them secure financial resources and customize financing solutions.

The national average yield is 4.15 tons per hectare of rice. With Agrilever’s guidance, this yield could substantially increase to 7 tons per hectare.

Banko released P14.96 billion of business loans to over 200,000 borrowing clients in 2023. BanKo also opened 26 new branch-lite units (BLU) in different locations across the country, bringing the total number of branches and BLUs to 350.

The bank operates in 77 of 82 provinces, with branches in 125 cities.

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