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Written Answers - Credit Availability

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

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 32.  Deputy Brian Stanley Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  his plans to use his office to impress on the Department of Finance the need to ensure that bank credit facilities are made readily available to young farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7067/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My officials are in regular contact with farm bodies, various national banks and the Banking Federation concerning the availability of credit to farmers. I am aware that, like many other sectors, farmers are finding it difficult to get credit due to the strict assessments introduced as a result of the global financial crisis. However, despite concerns a relatively small number of cases from the Agrifood sector have come before the Credit Review Office. My officials have recently assisted one of the farm organizations in explaining the work of the Credit Review Office.

Central Bank data also shows that agriculture is one of the sub-sectors receiving the most new lending in the period Q1-Q3 2011. A Micro-Finance Start-up fund currently being developed by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is also being monitored to ensure that opportunities for the Agrifood sector under it are fully utilised.

I will continue to meet with relevant parties, including the Irish Banking Federation, on a regular basis to discuss all credit-related issues.

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