Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D. welcomes the launch of the Agri Cash Flow Support Loan Fund for Farmers
The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, welcomes the launch of the Agri Cash Flow Support Loan Fund for Farmers by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Welcoming the launch of this Scheme through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, Minister Noonan Stated:
“As I announced in Budget 2017, the Agri Cash Flow Support Loan Fund for Farmers has been developed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, in conjunction with the SBCI, to provide low cost, flexible loans to farmers. This Scheme will ensure that the agri-food sector is adequately supported through the current period of increased price volatility on commodities markets and is especially welcome in light of the challenges posed by Brexit.”
“The highly flexible terms of the loans will support growth and assist the farming sector in improving the management of their cash flow and reduce the cost of their short term borrowings. This initiative demonstrates how the Government can work with the SBCI to support Irish SMEs, thereby increasing the availability of credit and the provision of additional sources of finance.”
The Scheme is an innovative approach to provide funding to the SME sector. It utilises risk sharing through a COSME counter guarantee facility provided by the European Investment Fund to optimise the funding available to Irish farmers.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Agri Cash Flow Support Loan Fund Scheme will provide highly flexible unsecured loans of up to €150,000 at an interest rate of 2.95%. The loans will have term of up to 6 years, including the possibility of capital payment holidays.
- The Fund is supported by €11 million of EU Exceptional Adjustment Aid and further funding of €14 million from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, under a derogation from state aid regulations that ordinarily apply to the agriculture sector. The Scheme is supported by an SBCI guarantee and counter-guaranteed by the EU COSME Loan Guarantee Fund.
- Applications for loans are now being accepted by AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, the SBCI’s partner finance providers.