Plans afoot to net €50,000 credit union loans for farmers
Moves are underway to try to co-ordinate a nationwide expansion of unsecured credit union loans of up to €50,000 to farmers.
A proposal is expected to come from the IFA National Council at a meeting in the Farm Centre today to help drive the scheme nationwide.
A 'Cultivate' scheme launched by four credit unions in the Galway region in March has seen in the region of €2m loaned to 450 farmers in the county, with a further €1.5m pending.
IFA business chairman Martin Stapleton said they were going to seek to meet with credit unions around the country to identify those willing to lend working capital finance loans to farmers.
"The credit unions can't compete with the banks for structured finance or term loans but they are very competitive for merchant credit," he said.
Mr Stapleton (pictured) said that the credit unions "are awash with money" -having hundreds of millions of euro on deposit - and regard farmers as good clients.
"We are hoping to get it up and running with credit unions around the country now and follow the example in Co Galway. The Credit Union League is very interested in the members doing business with farmers," he said.
"I believe that we are pushing an open door with the Credit Unions, who are offering a product that can be of great benefit to farmers - and the attitude to lending is very different from the banks.