The EU Has Launched a Low-Interest Loan Plan For Young Farmers
The European Union has launched a plan to grant cheaper loans to young farmers, which are often rejected by banks. The package is up to one billion euros.
The European Commission and the European Investment Bank want banks to combine loans, with a total of two billion euros.
"Access to finance is crucial and is often an obstacle for young people who want to join the profession," said Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan.
"With 11% of European farmers under 40, the support of young farmers in the sector is a priority for the European Commission."
Banks have rejected 27% of credit applications submitted by young EU farmers in 2017, compared with only 9% for older candidates.
Those aged under 40 represent 11% of the 10.3 million farmers in the EU in 2016, while over 65 are 32%, according to Eurostat.
Extremely rare are young farmers in Cyprus (3.3%), Portugal (4.2%) and the United Kingdom (5.3%). They are better represented in Austria (22.2%), Poland (20.3%) and Slovakia (19%).
The 28 EU Member States will offer young farmers lower interest rates, a five-year moratorium on payouts, and then up to 15 years to repay the entire loan.
The scheme also allows flexibility in harder times by offering grace periods of several months.
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