Creed: €150m set aside for farm loans

With no prospect seen of an EU rescue package for tillage farmers, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed says he has ringfenced part of the €150m cheap loan scheme, expected in late January, for the non-livestock sector, including tillage.

He said he will ensure each sector will receive the appropriate amount of the loan scheme.

The minister said that additional funding for loans for livestock sectors, and a parallel loan scheme for all other farmers, particularly those involved in tillage and horticulture, is made possible by diverting €13.9m of savings identified in 2016 spending by his department.

The €150m cheap loan scheme will primarily enable farmers to pay down expensive forms of credit, such as merchant credit and other short-term credit facilities like overdrafts, to improve management of their cash- flow and reduce the cost of short-term borrowings.

It will offer highly-flexible loans for up to six years for amounts of up to €150,000 at an interest rate of 2.95%.

Mr Creed said the extra funding, which he announced last week to the Oireachtas committee on agriculture, food and the marine, will extend the availability of the loan scheme not just to livestock farmers, but to the tillage sector as well.

He also said he will announce in January the details of the tillage Tams grants for crop equipment.


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