Just over €27m has been drawn down by farmers and those working in agriculture, fishing and forestry through the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme.

In terms of value, farmers have received the third highest amount after retail traders and those in accommodation and food services.

The number of loan applications marks 18% of overall numbers, and is tied with retail traders for the highest number of applications per sector.

“The scheme provides €2bn in lending, for terms up to five-and-a-half years and offers a range of lending products between €10,000 and €1m,” Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said, in response to a parliamentary question from TD Marian Harkin.

“It is available to SMEs and small mid-caps [business with less than 500 employees], including primary producers [businesses engaged in the farming and seafood sectors].”