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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 Agriculture.
“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 agriculture sector.”
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
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