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Repayment time for farmers would vary – Caesar

Repayment time for farmers would vary – Caesar

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A farmer’s circumstances and the type of crops he or she plants will be deciding factors in the repayment time in the $6 million farmer support credit programme.{{more}}

This was revealed by Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, as he addressed a press conference on April 17.

In response to a question posed by a farmer present, Caesar said the repayment time for each person will vary, based on the crop grown and the circumstances under which money is being borrowed from the Farmer Support Company.

“The repayment time for each commodity is going to be different,” the Minister declared.

Using examples, Caesar explained that someone who already has crops to be sold but wishes to expand may have a different repayment time than someone who is just starting out in the agricultural sector.

“So, those persons who are planting short crops, it is going to be expected that they start the repayment in a shorter period. And those persons, for example, if someone is into cocoa production and he is planting cocoa and he is dependent only on cocoa to pay his loan, it is going to take a different time than if he is planting for example peanuts. You notice in the first year, a peanut farmer can make at least two repayments and some persons will tell you he can make three repayments in the first year. The cocoa farmer may not be able, if he doesn’t intercrop…he may not be able to start to repay up until four, five years.”

Because of the nature of the loans, Caesar stressed the importance of farmers keeping records, after they have received loans to make investments.

“There is going to be a component which will accompany the on-lending process where we are going to ensure that you exercise the requisite expertise in terms of record keeping which is very important. If you are to repay a loan, you must treat the entire exercise as a business,” he said.

“We are encouraging farmers that when you draw down, to be very concerned about the investment because it is important that after the drawing down, that you use the opportunity to plant on time and keep the proper records.”

The Minister also noted that the relationship that will be fostered between extension officers of the Farmer Support Company and farmers is expected to aid in facilitating the repayment of loans. (BK)

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