Ireland today announced a €200m Agri Farm Investment Fund dedicated to
supporting the financial needs of the agricultural sector. The fund, which
is open to new and existing customers, is available to those who are
involved in agri related SME businesses, ranging from farmers to food
related businesses. It is designed to finance new investment requirements
to support the growth objectives as set out in the Food Harvest 2020 Report,
which was published last year by the Government.
fund, announced to coincide with the Institute of International and European
Affairs (IIEA) conference: “A Flavour of the Future – Challenges for
Irish Agri-food in the Global Marketplace," is available for investment
in a wide variety of purposes including the purchase of machinery and land,
upgrading housing and other facilities, the construction of farming
buildings and for purchasing stock.
first five months of this year, Bank of Ireland Business Banking received
almost 7,000 applications for credit totalling just over €200m from those
operating in the primary industries of agriculture, forestry and fishing.
85% of all applications received were approved. Bank of Ireland Business
Banking currently lends over €1bn to the sector in Ireland.
at the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) conference: “A
Flavour of the Future – Challenges for Irish Agri-food in the Global
Marketplace”, Mark Cunningham, Managing Director, Bank of Ireland Business
Banking: “Agriculture remains a key sector for the Bank and indeed the
recovery of the Irish economy. In recent months we have seen a general
increase in the amount of credit approved for those operating in the primary
industries of agriculture, forestry and fishing when compared to the same
period last year.
This is as a result of a number of factors including an
increase in land transactions particularly in the dairy sector as well as a
higher level of applications coming through from agri-food business owners
looking to expand. We are committed to ensuring that the appropriate funding
is in place, to support all viable farming enterprises so they can
participate and avail of such growth opportunities”.
Also commenting on the launch of the
fund, James Kane, National Farm Business Chairman with the Irish Farmers’
Association said, “Access to credit at a competitive rate is vital for
the agriculture sector, and I welcome this initiative from Bank of Ireland.
Agriculture has a key role to play in Ireland’s economic recovery, but farms
require regular reinvestment to improve efficiency and competitiveness.
Support from the banking sector is critical if agriculture is to fully
realise its growth potential and achieve the targets of Food Harvest 2020”.