Fine Gael for Wicklow and Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle has said that a newly launched low cost loan scheme will be extremely beneficial for farmers in Wicklow particularly to help them mitigate against the impact of Brexit. The ‘Agri Cashflow Support Loan Scheme’, which was developed in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), was launched by Fine Gael Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.
“Working alongside my colleague in the Department of Agriculture, Minister Michael Creed, our Department has launched the Government’s new low cost agriculture loan scheme. This is going to be really beneficial to farmers here in Wicklow who are looking for income stability in a period of price volatility due to Brexit. Wicklow farmers will be able to avail of low-cost interest rate loans of 2.95%, which represents excellent value compared to market rates.
“A major priority for Fine Gael in Government and in my role as Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture is to assist farmers in mitigating against the impact of Brexit. I had the opportunity to discuss the issue of Brexit with Farmers in the locality last week at a public meeting I hosted in Kiltegan, I know from talking to local farmers that some of them are experiencing cashflow difficulties due to recent changes in the sterling exchange rate, as well as lower commodity prices in certain sectors. As a farmer myself I am aware of the difficulties facing farmers and the uncertainty due to Brexit.
“My department has a ‘three pillar strategy’ in response to income volatility and pressures caused by the uncertainty around Brexit, including this low cost loan scheme, tax measures and farm payments.
“Wicklow farmers will be pleased to hear that as well as being good value; these loans will be flexible, with the possibility of optional interest only repayments at the start of the loan. Six year loan terms will be available.
“This loan scheme will allow farmers here in Wicklow 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 enterprise.
“AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank will distribute the loans, making €150 million available to farmers throughout Ireland. 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.”