As part of the state project to promote the cultivation of annual crops, Georgian farmers received a total of 11 960 preferential agricultural loans this year, the Georgian Rural Development Agency (RDA) told EastFruit.
The loans intended to replenish working capital amounted to about 187.5 million GEL ($70 million).
According to the RDA, loans were issued to farmers for the purchase of seeds and planting materials, pesticides, organic mineral fertilizers, biological plant protection products, fuels, and lubricants for machinery, as well as to pay for labor and agricultural machinery.
The terms of the project envision that the amount of credit one beneficiary (individual or legal entity of Georgia) can receive from participating financial institutions is 5 000-100 000 GEL ($1 900-37 300). The maximum annual interest rate on the loan is set at 18%. As part of the financial support, the state co-finances farm payments for 12 months at an interest rate of 9% per annum.
The terms of the project set the maximum limits for the cost of growing and caring for certain annual crops per 1 ha. The largest limits this year were allowed for lettuce – 22 000 GEL ($8 200), sweet pepper – 15 155 GEL ($5 700), tomato – 13 810 GEL ($5 200), eggplant – 12 655 GEL ($4 700), cucumber – 11 755 GEL ($4 400) and garlic – 11 520 GEL ($4 300) per 1 ha.
The state project is part of the “Preferential Agrocredit” implemented by the Rural Development Agency. Preferential loans for working capital for annual crops are issued annually, from February 1 to October 31. Farmers received them from March 22 to November 1 this year.
According to the data of the National Statistical Service of Georgia, the total area allocated in the country for annual crops was 211 400 ha this year, including 68 900 ha for winter wheat and barley (this is the area sown last autumn, from which the crop was harvested this year), and 142 500 ha for spring crops.
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