By Leman Mammadova
Agrarian Credit and Development Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture financed agricultural projects of 719 farmers worth 82.05 million manats ($48.28 million) in the first six months of this year, said Mirza Aliyev, head of the Agency, at the conference dedicated to the results of the first half of 2019.
The Agency provides agricultural loans at preferential terms, also implements the sale of machinery and breeding animals. At the same time, the Agency is involved in the management of projects and attracting investments to agricultural sector.
He noted that in this period, 328 farmers were granted privileged loans totaling 11.35 million manats ($6.68 million), adding that some 1,432 units of agricultural equipment were sold to 391 farmers.
Support measures and the provision of services continue to improve the supply of the agricultural sector in all areas, in particular, agricultural machinery.
In order to purchase equipment necessary for farmers, the subsidy in the amount of 27.1 million manats ($15.95 million) was transferred to suppliers. “In the first half of last year, 62.8 million manats ($36.95 million) worth of agricultural machinery was sold to farmers, while the figure increased by 12 percent to 70.7 million manats ($41.60 million) this year.”
Moreover, 236 farmers received 12.67 million manats ($7.46 million) of soft loans.
“We can assume that leasing activities are completely liberalized in the agricultural sector. If last year agricultural machinery was provided to farmers by one supplier, today, this number has increased to 35,” he said.
Aliyev further added that both legal entities and individuals can enter the market.
He noted that the harvest season was over without loss for farmers thanks to the new dislocation plan of Agroleasing LLC, as well as due to the increase in the number of private farmer combines.
Regarding the latter, Aliyev noted that sales of combines increased threefold compared to last year during the reporting period.
The Agency increased its loan portfolio to 96.7 million manats ($56.90 million) in the first half of this year.
About 67 percent of the loan portfolio of the Agency was formed at the expense of bank funds. The remaining part is distributed between non-bank credit organizations (NBCO) - 19 percent and credit unions - 13 percent.
Last year, the volume of the portfolio amounted to 79.7 million manats ($46.90 million). By the end of this year, the Agency plans to increase its loan portfolio to 120 million manats ($70.61 million), thereby ensuring an increase of almost 51 percent.
Currently, the Agency cooperates with 10 banks, 11 NBCOs and 19 credit unions.
As many as 169 persons received loans worth about 11 million manats ($6.47 million) through the Agency last year.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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