SPEAKING following the latest update by Minster Creed on the implementation of cheap loans to the farming sector, ICSA Rural Development chairman Seamus Sherlock has expressed his disappointment that these loans seem to be unavailable to the farmers who need them most.
‘Merchant credit is very expensive and can be addressed by these new measures but the real problem for many farmers today is their long term commitment at high interest rates which are crippling many farm enterprises. Common sense would suggest these farmers are the ideal candidates for a low interest rate loan which would enable the farmer to clear their existing expensive repayments.”
Mr Sherlock commended the minster for addressing the big issue of farm debt but went on to express ICSA reservations on the criteria needed to avail of this new facility. ‘Unfortunately, over the last number of years many farmers through no fault of their own have struggled with loan repayments due to poor prices and bad weather, these farmers could now find themselves excluded from these new loan facilities.’
Concluding, Mr Sherlock added that he would urge Minister Creed to take another look and address ICSA concerns and make these loans available to the people who would benefit the most, thus insuring the future viability of many family farms.