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Farmers ready to benefit from Farmer Support Company

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Farmers across St Vincent and the Grenadines continue to show interest in the Farmer Support Company, as they seek to develop their farming livelihood.{{more}}

The Farmer Support Company, which aims to provide a $6 million revolving credit facility to farmers, has been in operation for the past two months and is servicing 1,250 loan applicants.

At a press briefing on April 17, at which a number of farmers were present, Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar explained that these applications should be processed by May 14.

“We expect that between now and May 14, we’ll be able to have a positive response for the 1,250 farmers who would have applied,” Caesar said.

The Minister asked farmers to be patient, as the process must be executed in a “proper manner.”

“I know that some farmers are saying that ‘I had a visit from an extension officer and he came to my farm two weeks ago and I have not been able to receive any monies as yet’, but I am asking and pleading for patience of the farming community,” he said.

“Because it is a loan programme, whilst we are working to execute the loans speedily, we have to ensure that we dot all the I’s and we cross all the T’s because it is also a process where we gather very important information for the continued building of the agricultural sector.”

Although he noted that the extension officers may encounter some obstacles while carrying out their duties, Caesar assured that the programme has been functioning well.

“I think all in all, I can say that we have been working in a very steadfast manner and those farmers who would have received already, drawn down already are extremely happy and I want to just note that those farmers who would have applied, who would have not drawn down as yet, that your drawing down period would be coming very soon,” he said.

To date, 350 farmers have benefitted from the loan programme.

On April 16, 13 extension officers based in different areas of the country received 800 application forms to be distributed to farmers in their respective areas.(BK)

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