The Fiji Development Bank has developed a new special loan facility for sugarcane growers that will make borrowing affordable for sugarcane growers.
The facility focuses on providing an additional loan facility, including a loan top-up for current FBD cane customers and a loan facility for new cane growers.
These include those who wish to venture into sugarcane farming start-ups and who are sugarcane growers but not FDB customers.
Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday chaired Facility, saying the government would subsidize the interest on farmers’ loans.
Sayed-Khaiyum thanked the FDB for working closely with the government to launch this initiative.
He says more than half of the interest will be paid by the government and through the FDB they are making the loan more easily accessible.
“For this particular loan program, the interest rate is 3.99%, but the actual interest rate is 9.99%. You don’t pay the 9.99%, you pay 3.99, and we pay the 6% to FDB, someone has to pay for that. So the government pays.”
Sayed-Khaiyum says a sugarcane farmer can access up to $100,000 from the new facility, even if it means he wants to venture into other areas of farming.
FDB Managing Director Saud Minam said applications for interested farmers will open in a few days.
“This facility will be ready to go from October 10, which basically means that if you have an application you want to submit, you can submit it online.”
Minam says that for their existing clients, they have a pre-approved loan amount that will be communicated to them soon.