February 25, 2014
Ministry of Agriculture launches $6 million credit programme

At least 1,500 farmers have shown interest in the six million dollar credit programme, which was recently launched by the Ministry of Agriculture.{{more}}

Last Tuesday, 30 meetings were held across the country, where farmers had the opportunity to sign up for the credit support programme.

During a press conference on Friday, Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar revealed that 1,500 farmers were recorded to have attended these meetings, and over 500 forms have been returned.

“Other farmers would have taken home the forms to discuss with other family members, to peruse the issues on the form a bit more, so that they can be better informed to the point of completing the document,” he said.

Extension officers have been assigned to facilitate the sign up process. Caesar noted that as time goes by, it is the hope that farmers and extension officers will foster a close working relationship.

Therefore, he noted that staging the meetings last week “is the beginning…of appreciation and bonding between farmers and the extension staff.

“Over the next few weeks, what we are going to see is the intensification of the presence of extension officers in the farming community. The extension officers who were assigned at each venue will be working with the farmers in their districts for a period of two months to ensure that we have a successful start- up of the on-lending process by the Farmer Support Company,” the Minister said.

In his remarks, Caesar stressed that the farmers can rely on the Ministry of Agriculture to facilitate an expedient implementation of the lending programme.

On February 8, the farmer six million dollar credit support programme was launched as an initiative to create a more resilient agricultural sector, as farmers were encouraged to take a business approach to their livelihood.

Farmers now have the opportunity to apply for loans, which they will pay back at an interest rate of two per cent, to develop their farms. (BK)