Lenders must step up with immediate help for farmers – IFA

With the continuing adverse weather conditions, banks and credit unions must make immediate support available to help farmers, according to IFA National Farm Business Chair Bill O’Keeffe.

“Farmers are under intense pressure due to the continued challenging weather conditions, with cattle housed much longer than planned, vegetable crops unable to be harvested and tillage crops unable to be sown cash flow issues are building on farms,” Mr  O’Keeffe stated.

“We are in constant contact with both the Credit Unions and the banks on this issue and the response we are receiving is positive, with a message to come and talk to providers of credit to see how they can assist farmers through this period,” he said.

“While this message is positive the problem now is one of time. Where farmers have a requirement for fodder and have cash flow pressures, they need immediate access to cash. Credit Unions and especially banks must look at putting solutions in place for same day decisions on lending applications during this period.

“Waiting for days or weeks for a decision is not good enough if fodder needs to be purchased now for animals,” Mr O’Keeffe said.

“From discussions with Credit Unions, the Cultivate product is available through many Credit Unions and a decision from your local Credit Union should be relatively swift. For Credit Unions not offering the Cultivate product there are other lending options available. The main banks have products such as the Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme which can be utilised at times of cash flow issues such as this,” he said.

“I would encourage farmers who may be under cashflow pressure to assess their options and I am asking lenders, co-ops and merchants to immediately step up and help farmers through this difficult period,” Bill O’Keeffe concluded.