There is good news for Clare farmers today (Tuesday) as Agriculture Minister Michael Creed unveiled the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme.
The Scheme was developed in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), which has confirmed that AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank will distribute the loans, making €150 million available to farmers throughout Ireland at low-cost interest rate of 2.95%. This is supported by €25 million being provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, including €11 million in EU exceptional adjustment aid.
“One of my priorities is to address the impact of the change in the sterling exchange rate and lower commodity prices in some sectors which have caused cash flow difficulties for farmers.
“This innovative loan scheme will provide farmers with a low cost, flexible source of working capital. This will allow them to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt, such as merchant credit or overdrafts, contributing to the ongoing financial sustainability of their farming enterprises” said Minister Creed.
This loan scheme forms part of a “three pillar strategy” in response to income volatility, which the Minister announced as part of Budget 2017. Along with tax measures and farm payments, it will alleviate some of the pressures being caused by the recent market difficulties, which have been compounded by the uncertainty around Brexit.