BACOLOD City – The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) partnered with Negros Occidental’s Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) for the implementation of a financing program for backyard animal raisers.

Dr. Renante Decena, provincial veterinarian, said on Wednesday that their office is the bank’s partner, specifically in the evaluation and implementation of the program in the province.

“The evaluation will start this week and will focus on the capability of the raisers to produce, as well as pay the acquired loan,” he said.

Decena, who met with officials of LBP-Bacolod led by assistant vice president Vivian Cañonero on Monday, said the initiative is under the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) lending program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), coursed through the state-owned bank.

The program was initially intended for commercial farming, but eventually expanded to small-scale rice and other crop production, as well as livestock.

Through the program, the LBP will provide financial assistance to qualified raisers subject to a certain interest rate.

Decena said the PVO is pushing for the provision of financing support, particularly to animal raisers with production gaps, such as those for layers and goat in southern Negros.

He noted that the lack of financing is one of the reasons some raisers failed to sustain their production. The LBP is amenable to such proposal, he said.

“Aside from the production aspect, financing would also help raisers in terms of marketing,” Decena said, noting that most of the raisers being assisted by the PVO are also clients of the bank.

According to the DA, the ACEF lending program aims to increase productivity of farmers and fisherfolk by providing them and their cooperatives and associations and micro and small-scale enterprises the necessary credit for the acquisition and establishment of production, post-harvest, and processing machinery, equipment and facilities, and farm inputs, among others.

A maximum of PHP5 million can be availed of by farmer and fisherfolk cooperatives, associations, and MSEs and PHP1 million by individual farmer and fisher.

The LBP shall manage the credit facility funded and shall determine the eligibility requirements and set the required loan security or collateral and reasonable interest for the loan, it added. (PNA)