LANDBANK banks on Filipino youth to boost agri sector, launches loan program for young agripreneurs

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Some of the graduates (Class 2017) of LANDBANK’s Gawad Patnubay Scholarship Program, all of whom are now successfully employed in LANDBANK or its subsidiaries, and partner institutions.

The Land Bank of the Philippines is looking to draw more Filipino youth to the agriculture sector to help boost the growth and ensure the sustainability of what is perhaps the country’s most challenged economic sector.

The Bank launched the Young Entrepreneurs from School to Agriculture Program (YESAP) – a credit facility specifically targeted at young entrepreneurs looking to venture into agri-related businesses.

“Through this program, we hope to encourage and equip more of our Filipino youth to go into agri-entrepreneurship by introducing viable projects and providing access to credit and technical training,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Alex V. Buenaventura.

YESAP is open to sole proprietors aged 18 to 35 with viable startup or existing projects in agricultural/fishery production, trading, processing, servicing or distribution of agricultural crops and commodities.

They can borrow for various reasons, such as working capital; land acquisition; purchase of farm inputs, tools, equipment, and/or farm implements; or construction of mill, storage, dryer and other facilities that they may need for their project. Loanable amount is from P50,000 per borrower to up to 90% of the total project cost.

Apart from credit support, these budding entrepreneurs will be provided trainings through the LANDBANK Countryside Development Foundation, Inc. The Bank will likewise forge a Memorandum of Understanding with partner agencies/institutions for the provision of technical assistance, such as coaching and mentoring on how to start and maintain their business, agri-business and agronomy training, creditworthiness training, and business plan preparation.

YESAP forms part of LANDBANK’s compliance with RA 10679 or the Youth Entrepreneurship Act, which mandates government financial institutions to implement programs that include financing and information services, and training and marketing support for young entrepreneurs.

 

Investing on the future of agriculture

Also a complementary program designed to encourage youth interest in agriculture is the LANDBANK Gawad Patnubay Scholarship Program (GPSP) – an education-to-employment (E2E) program that supports underprivileged but deserving students who want to specialize in the fields of agriculture and fisheries. GPSP specifically targets children of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries taking up agriculture-related courses and covers full subsidy of tuition fee, including monthly stipend, book allowance, thesis writing, and uniform costs. 

GPSP’s E2E component aims to help scholars secure agriculture-related jobs through a 10-week internship program in LANDBANK and its partner-institutions.

Since its inception in 2013, the LANDBANK GPSP has supported over 100 scholars, with 100% of its graduates now successfully employed in LANDBANK and its subsidiaries, in partner-institutions such as the International Rice Research Institute, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Carabao Center, and HARBEST Agribusiness Corporation, and other agriculture-related firms, through the program’s E2E internship component.

“LANDBANK believes in investing on our youth to develop future agri-preneurs and professionals who will be instrumental in revitalizing the agriculture sector. We are committed to support and provide what they need to succeed in agriculture – from education to their employment as agriculture professionals or their agribusiness ventures,” Buenaventura added. 

For more information about the LANDBANK Young Entrepreneurs from School to Agriculture Program, interested borrowers may call the Bank’s Program Management Department 1 at (02) 405-7450 or visit the nearest LANDBANK Lending Center.