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Minister welcomes positive response to Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today welcomed the release of preliminary information regarding the uptake of  the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme, which was developed by the Department in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), making €150 million available to farmers at interest rates of 2.95%. Distributed and administered through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, the Scheme provides farmers with a low cost, flexible source of working capital, allowing them to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt, ensuring the ongoing financial sustainability of viable farming enterprises.

The SBCI has said that €60.2m has been drawn down by farmers to date.  The average loan size is €32,000, with more than half the loans being advanced for terms of four years or more. Normal bank lending criteria applies to the Scheme and the terms and conditions of each individual loan are agreed between the bank and the applicant according to the purpose of the loans and the circumstances of the farming enterprise.

By sector, 42% of loan value has been to dairy enterprises, 41% to beef and 8% to tillage, with other sectors such as sheep, pigs and horticulture also applying.

The Minister commented, “One of my priorities has been to address the impact of the change in the sterling exchange rate and lower commodity prices in some agriculture sectors. I am pleased at the very positive reaction by farmers to the Scheme, which has proved that significant demand exists for low cost flexible finance. I am currently meeting with the Chief Executives of the participating banks to discuss this and other access to finance issues relating to the agri-food sector. I am asking the banks to respond positively to the demand that has been demonstrated by reducing interest rates and providing more flexible terms for cash flow loans in the future”.

The banks advise that all of the remaining €150m is committed and is in the process of being drawn down.  Based on progress to date, SBCI anticipate that in total approximately 4,000 farmers will benefit from the scheme. 

Note for editors: SBCI has made the following preliminary information available, based on drawdown to 28 April, 2017.

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To view this Press Release as a PDF:‌ DAFMPR 77/2017 (pdf 757Kb) ‌‌

 

 

 

 

Date Released: 02 May 2017

Distribution channels: Agriculture, Farming & Forestry