Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2150)

Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

2150. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the uptake of the various schemes available to agricultural and food businesses to prepare for Brexit, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34541/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I have introduced a number of supports to assist the agri-food sector in preparing to address the challenges posed by Brexit. These include:

Title of Scheme

Details

Take up (as of 22 July 2019)

Agriculture Cash Flow Support Loan Scheme

- Developed in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI)

- Funding of €150m

- cash flow support facility, providing farmers with a low cost, flexible source of working capital

- loan amounts up to €150,000 for up to six years at an interest rate of 2.95%

- scheme closed.

- Approximately 4,246 applications to the value of €145m

- Average loan size of €34,127

- average loan period of 41 months

Brexit Loan Scheme

- Joint DAFM/DBEI/Dept. of Finance/SBCI Scheme

- Funding of €300m

- Operable 28 March 2018 to 31 March 2020

- Loans of €25,000 to €1,500,000 per eligible enterprise

- Maximum interest rate of 4%, ranging from 1 year to 3 years,

- At least 40% available to food businesses

- Unsecured loans up to €500,000

- 628 applications approved

- 160 loans progressed to sanction at bank level

- total value of sanctioned loans is €35.7m

- 29 (with a value of €8.2m) relate to food businesses

Future Growth Loan Scheme

- Joint DBEI/DAFM Scheme

- Funding of €300m available since 17 Apr 2019

- Available to Irish businesses, including farmers and the agri-food & seafood sectors

- Applications submitted through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) since 17th April 2019

- 619 applications approved

- 53 loans pogressed to sanction at bank level

- total value of sanctioned loans is €7.9m

- 39 (with a value of €4.5m) relate to farmers and to one food business worth €280,000

In addition to the above schemes, my Department, in response to Brexit, has also initiated:

- a market prioritisation exercise undertaken by Bord Bia to identify priority markets across all food and drinks categories;

- tailored supports and analysis are being provided to food companies through Bord Bia’s Brexit Barometer; and

- an intensified series of trade missions to develop and grow new markets.

I also have had on-going discussions with Commissioner Hogan regarding the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit. The Commission have already made €50m available to Irish beef farmers as a response to market pressures, and this can be matched by national funding. I expect to be rolling out a support scheme with this funding in the very near future. I have also stressed the need for the Commission to be ready to deploy a further range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on the agri-food and fisheries sector. Avoiding a no-deal Brexit continues to be the Government’s overriding policy priority.

And, of course, our practical preparations for all potential scenarios, including a no-deal Brexit, continue to be progressed and refined through the whole-of-Government coordination structures that have been in place for some time.