Special borrowing rates could aid farmers and small agri-food businesses through lean times – Burke

-   Senator Paddy Burke

Fine Gael Senator Paddy Burke has said that special borrowing rates could assist farmers and small businesses with their finances at certain times of the year, when things are tough. Senator Burke was speaking on the matter in the Seanad this week.

“We all know that farming is a seasonal business and certain times of the year can be lean. Farmers and small businesses in the agri-food sector need particular assistance to get them through lean times of the year.

“In Spain and Portugal for example, low interest rates of 2% and 3% are available on short term loans or overdrafts to tide farmers and small businesses over at crunch times. This can really help them with buying in stock, or while they wait for cash crops to mature and be sold.

“I have no doubt that a similar approach can be taken here with a bit of ingenuity. I plan to raise this with the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and perhaps this is something that they could raise with the lending institutions.

“Fine Gael in Government has rejuvenated Irish agriculture in recent years. Agricultural colleges are packed again and young people are looking to a future in Irish farming. We must put in place measures to ensure that a stable career can await these young people and that they will have financial security in what can be a volatile industry.”

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