MANILA -An agricultural cooperative in a South Cotabato town has secured funding from state-run Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) to scale up its production of pineapples and pineapple fibers.
In a statement, Landbank said it recently granted a P224-million loan to the T’Boli Farm Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative which will be utilized to expand its operations and output.
A large chunk of the Landbank financing—some P180 million—will augment the co-op’s working capital requirements to acquire farm inputs and cover other related costs.
Another P34 million will be set aside to procure farm machinery and post-harvest facilities for hauling and land preparation, including tractors, service vehicles, trucks and a backhoe loader.
The remaining P10 million will go to bolstering the volume of pineapple fibers that the co-op is exporting to the United Kingdom.
Pineapple fibers are used to manufacture pineapple leather material for shoes, bags and other accessories.
Landbank said the latest loan will benefit 991 farmer-members of T’Boli Farm Growers operating in a total of 1,041 hectares of farmland in the municipalities of T’boli, Surallah, Lake Sebu and Banga.
“Landbank continues to intensify its lending support to the agriculture sector, especially farmers in the Mindanao region. Landbank is committed to deliver timely and responsive support to expand their operations and boost their production and income,” said Landbank president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo.
T’Boli Farm Growers has been venturing into pineapple fiber production after it received five decorticating machines from the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority.