State-run Land Bank of the Philippines said it’s got nothing to do with the closure of Al-Sahar Agri-Ventures Inc., noting that the banana firm did not meet the requirements for obtaining a loan.
ASAVI applied for a P1.6 billion loan from Landbank for the development of its 1,333 hectares of cavendish banana corporate farm in Maguindanao.
Landbank said it approved the the loan on Jan. 10, 2017 under its Harvest program for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to boost the agriculture sector while at the same time promoting lasting peace and development in Mindanao.
“On Feb. 7, 2017, Landbank sent ASAVI a notice of loan approval with a loan agreement. However, ASAVI did not sign the agreement because it was unable to comply with the submission of a cross surety which is part of the reasonable pre-requisites for a clean loan,” Landbank said.
“The banana firm only reverted back to Landbank in August 2018 or a year after and only to inform the bank that they are already working on the compliance of the requirements,” the state-run bank pointed out.
Recognizing ASAVI’s dilemma, Landbank has set a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform and the Ministry of Local Government in BARMM on Oct. 9 to further discuss it can extend assistance to affected farmers.
Landbank said it has been vigorously pursuing programs in the BARMM area that contribute to the local economy and in empowering farmers in the region in response to President Duterte’s directive to help uplift the lives of small farmers in the countryside.
As of Aug. 31, 77 accounts of farmers’ cooperatives and small and medium enterprises are already enrolled under the Harvest program amounting to P215.8 million while a total of 37 accounts amounting to P506.79 million are awaiting concurrence from the Japan International Cooperation Agency for enrolment to the Harvest program.
Landbank also assisted a total of 16,108 farmers in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. As of Aug. 31, outstanding loans in Maguindanao reached P1.9 billion while in Lanao del Sur P243.29 million.