AIB is offering working capital loan facilities for the purchase of fertiliser and other inputs this spring.

There have been growing concerns around the provision of credit facilities for the purchase of fertiliser following the surge in product prices since autumn.

“Our Farmer Credit Line is a 12-month seasonal working capital facility with a current interest rate of 3.575%,” said Donal Whelton, head of agriculture at AIB.

“This is a line of credit that a farmer can apply for that will allow them pay now for the inputs required to operate their business and the facility can be cleared over the following 12 months as cashflow allows,” he explained.

“We also have access to the SBCI Brexit impact loan scheme product, with rates from 3.5% and loan terms are available for longer than 12 months,” Whelton added.

Busy year

With regard to the year ahead, the AIB official predicted that it will be a busy 12 months for farm investment and lending.

“We are again anticipating strong demand, albeit we do expect it to be somewhat lower than the very high levels of 2020 and 2021, as the outlook for output prices with the exception of pigs in the first half of the year remain positive and farmers continue to invest in their business,” he said.

The country’s credit unions last week indicated that finance for the purchase of fertiliser will be made available under their Cultivate loan package. These are at a rate of 6.55%.