Rush on for agri loans

JAMAICA - There has been a rush of applications for loans from the Development Bank of Jamaica for the development of agricultural projects under the Government's special loan facility initiated to boost the productive sector.
calendar icon 16 May 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

According to figures provided by McDonald, the DBJ approved $70 million in loans since February for agricultural projects from funds provided by the National Insurance Fund (NIF), and another $30 million was being processed.

He said an additional $30 million was approved for agriculture from funds provided by the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica (BNSJ) and DBJ was currently processing a further $10 million.

"We have been lending a few amounts of monies in the agricultural sector from the BNS (line of credit) for all types of projects - pig farming, beekeeping, poultry, greenhouse technology," Mr. McDonald said.

Seven-year loans

"For the BNS (funds) you can get facilities (loans) up to seven years, and for the NIF (funds) you can get it up to four years. So what we do is for projects that need funding in excess of four years, we would use the BNS funds, and for projects for four years or less, we use the NIF," he explained.

Some $600 million was put up by the Bank of Nova Scotia - $250 million for the agricultural sector and $350 million for tourism - for on-lending at single-digit interest rates under the special loan facility established shortly after Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's assumed office last year.

Another $1 billion was raked into this special pool of funds from the National Insurance Fund to provide cheap funding for the productive sector as part of the Government's thrust to boost the local economy.

But McDonald said the approximately $150 million received from the NIF was almost exhausted and the DBJ was in the process of asking for more due to the strong demand from the agricultural sector.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

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