Thursday, 3 October 2019

Ceisteanna (267)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

267. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers, in addition to food businesses, that have applied to the future growth loan scheme which opened in March 2019 until the end of quarter 3 2019; the number of farmers and such businesses that have been sanctioned financing to date; and the value of same in tabular form. [40483/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Future Growth Loan Scheme will support strategic long-term capital investment in a post-Brexit environment by SMEs, farmers and fishermen. The Scheme is open for eligibility applications to the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland since 17th April 2019. 

The Scheme was developed by my Department and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, in partnership with the Department of Finance, the SBCI and the European Investment Fund (EIF). It will be delivered through participating finance providers and make up to €300 million of investment loans available to eligible Irish businesses, including farmers and the agri-food & seafood sectors.

The loans will be competitively priced with an initial maximum loan interest rate of 4.5% for loans less than €250,000. The loans are for terms of 8-10 years and unsecured up to €500,000. This type of innovative finance, which has been previously unavailable in the Irish market, will support strategic long-term investment in a post-Brexit environment.

A minimum loan amount of €100,000 applies up to a maximum of €3,000,000 per applicant. However, considering the needs of Irish farmers, I have negotiated a specific minimum of €50,000 for them.

This is a long-awaited source of finance for young and new entrant farmers, especially the cohort who do not have high levels of security. It will also serve smaller-scale farmers, who often do not have the leverage to negotiate for more favourable terms with their banking institution.

The following table details the position at close of business on 30 September 2019.

 

No. of approved applications

No of loans sanctioned

Value of Loans Sanctioned at bank level

Total

1,283

270

€43.8m

Farmers

509

151

€16.7m

Food Businesses

145

22

€5.9m