Bank of Ireland today announced a new E200m Agri Farm Investment Fund dedicated to investment in the agricultural and food sector.
The fund, which is open to new and existing customers, is available to those who are involved in agri related SME businesses, ranging from farmers to food related businesses.
It is designed to finance new investment requirements to support the growth objectives as set out in the Food Harvest 2020 Report.
The new fund, announced to coincide with the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) conference: “A Flavour of the Future – Challenges for Irish Agri-food in the Global Marketplace, is available for investment in a wide variety of purposes including the purchase of machinery and land, upgrading housing and other facilities, the construction of farming buildings and for purchasing stock.
In the first five months of this year, Bank of Ireland Business Banking received almost 7,000 applications for credit totalling just over E200m from those operating in the primary industries of agriculture, forestry and fishing, it said.
It added that 85pc of all applications received were approved.
Bank of Ireland Business Banking currently lends over E1bn to the sector in Ireland.
“Agriculture remains a key sector for the Bank and indeed the recovery of the Irish economy. In recent months we have seen a general increase in the amount of credit approved for those operating in the primary industries of agriculture, forestry and fishing when compared to the same period last year. This is as a result of a number of factors including an increase in land transactions particularly in the dairy sector as well as a higher level of applications coming through from agri-food business owners looking to expand. We are committed to ensuring that the appropriate funding is in place, to support all viable farming enterprises so they can participate and avail of such growth opportunities,” said, Mark Cunningham, Managing Director, Bank of Ireland Business Banking.