Manila, the Philippines, August 1, 2013
– IFC has signed a cooperation agreement with CARD SME Bank to expand
lending to farmers and small agribusinesses, which will help improve their
incomes and enable them to benefit from the Philippines’ economic growth.
Agriculture accounts for 36 percent
of the Philippines’ total employment and 11 percent of its gross domestic
product, but farmers and agribusinesses only received 4.65 percent of the
total loans from banks as of 2012. The credit gap for agribusinesses stood
at 525 billion pesos in 2011, according to data from the Department of
“CARD SME Bank, the first Philippine
bank to be tapped for IFC’s agri-finance program, sees great opportunities
to help increase the incomes of farmers and agribusinesses,” said Jaime
Aristotle B. Alip, the bank’s chairman. “The bank will be working to
increase farmers’ access to credit and improve investments in the underserved
IFC advised CARD SME Bank on expanding
lending to micro, small and medium enterprises. In the first five months
of 2013, the bank has served more than 134,000 smaller businesses and disbursed
loans exceeding 884 million Philippine pesos.
The agricultural sector’s growth slowed
to 2.9 percent in 2012 from 4.9 percent in 2007. As a result, poverty among
farmers and fishermen is three times higher than in other sectors.
“The partnership would allow agribusiness
players, especially farmers, to grow their businesses and pursue other
opportunities that would normally be beyond their reach,” said IFC Resident
Representative Jesse Ang. “They can have better access to resources and
agricultural inputs, which will improve their productivity and profitability,
and increase their participation in the country’s economic development.”
IFC’s agri-finance program is supported
by the Government of Canada.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial
markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation,
and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.