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-beef, fruits and vegetables,Cheap Mens Adidas Basketball Shoes, aquaculture targetedGovernment yesterday launched a US$1.7M ($340M) revolving credit facility for farmers’ groups involved in aquaculture and livestock, as part of long-running programme to boost food exports.The fund, a mixture of grants ($40M) and loans ($300M), will be managed by the Guyana Bank For Trade and Industry (GBTI). It will target farmers in the fruits and vegetables business.During the launch at GBTI’s Sports Club in Bel Air, Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud, warned that that while a few critics may accuse Government over the timing, the fact remains that it is a project that has been in the works for more than four years.Only farmers who have banded themselves in groups or clusters can qualify for the loans or grants from the Agriculture Diversification Fund (ADF).Farmers and other involved in livestock, fruits and vegetables and aquaculture, during the launching of the $340M revolving fund yesterday.Yesterday, several of the groups,Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys, some from as far as Poomeroon, Essequibo, to Rockstone, Region Ten,  and West Berbice, that were already approved for funding by GBTI and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), received their symbolic checks.According to Persaud, affordable financing has long been recognized as key to transforming the agricultural sector with government looking to find alternative sources rather than from government’s budgetary allocations.The fact that the fund has now become a reality is a wakeup call that the talk is over and “possibilities’ can be turned into “realities”. It will also be a high point in the ministry and its work to take agriculture to another level.Regarding the failed GAIBANK and GNCB which went bankrupt under the previous administration, the official stressed that while financing is critical, it is a classical example why Government should not be involved in ventures like that…As a matter of fact, even the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund recognized this,Aaron Ramsey Arsenal Jersey UK, urging government to pull out.During the last five years,Cheap Jerseys Online, Government has plugged almost $6B investments in the sector and increasingly it is becoming clear that the role of the administration is more of providing the mechanisms for foster growth, he said.The fund, launched under the Agricultural Export and Diversification Programme (AEDP) which was initiated to reduce the country’s dependence on the traditional sugar and rice industries, has pushed government to find new, innovative ways to take agriculture to higher level.GBTI’s Chief Executive Officer, John Tracey, explained that the bank has been playing a significant role in the agricultural sector with despite diversifications, the sector still accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product; 30 per cent of employment and 40 per cent of export earnings.The idea behind the AEDP is to reduce farmers’ dependency on a sometimes local market.“Its purpose is to establish services and institutions for a sustainable increase in the income derived from the export of non-traditional agricultural exports in the aquaculture,Jerseys NFL Cheap, fruits and vegetables and livestock (beef) sub-sectors, enhancing the protection  of domestic consumers from illness, and domestic production from disease and contamination.”The banker recognized that while the fund is  “fairly modest”, the programme is a significant one expected to boost non-traditional exports and will last for 10 years.Interest rates, granted under concessionary terms because of governmental inputs,Andrew Benintendi Jersey, will range between five and eight per cent per annum, depending on the amount.Regarding repayment and delinquency rates, Tracey drew comparisons to the $1.8B European Commission Rice Financial Facility, which only came to an end on September 30 and which saw repayments of almost 96 per cent.Among the cluster groups whose loans and grants were approved by the bank were the Pomeroon Women’s Agro Processors, the West Berbice Sheep and Goat Farmers’ Association and the Rockstone Village Council.Former rice magnate,Jerseys NFL Cheap, Beni Sankar, who has been involved in aquaculture for a number of years, was also among those applicants to be approved by the bank. He was present yesterday for the launch of the fund.
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