The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) will roll out two new products to the farming community in Tobago on Wednesday September 21 2011 at the Rovanel’s Resort at 11 a.m.
They are the Mirco Credit Programme which includes a reaping opportunities loan to assist farmers who have been having economic challenges; to help them get back on their feet in the world of agriculture; to start becoming independent and enhance their quality of life.
The second product is the mobile banking unit which is literally the ADB on wheels that will go straight into farmers’ communities to assistance them in their agribusiness and also helping them with credit facilities and understanding what their needs are in going into the future.
In disclosing the products to be offered almost immediately to the Tobago farming community ADB Corporate Manager, Business Development Jaishima Leladharsingh said the reaping opportunities loan was geared to assist farmers, individuals and agribusiness entrepreneurs who want to get involved in the agricultural sector.
He was speaking in an interview shortly after meeting THA Chief Secretary Orville London and Secretary of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment Councillor Gary Melville at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex on Monday. With him were ADB Scarborough Branch Manager Terrence John and Marketing Assistant Natalie Williams.
Leladharsingh said the reaping opportunities loan was an unsecured facility with a cap of $50,000 and the Bank will take everything on a case by case basis. “It is for the farmer and the individual who is going through economic challenges, lending is strictly for agricultural purposes, whether it is food crop farming, fishing, livestock rearing or any other agriculture sub sector activity,” he said.
He said the Bank was still working out the terms and conditions of this new product but assured that it will be very much geared towards meeting the needs of individual facing the challenges.
He noted that the interest rates of the ADB were quite low, between three to five per cent, with a management fee of .5 per cent. However, he said, the terms and conditions will be relaxed but there will be a rigorous monitoring and evaluation system.
London said he was quite heartened to learn of the initiatives of the Bank as it related to Tobago farmers and fishermen. He said it would help those farmers who were having challenges in getting the necessary funding and collateral, to source loans from the ADB. “I think there are quite a number of them in the Tobago context and I am happy that something is being done to paying special attention to them and of course the initiative of bringing the Bank closer to the farmers is also an initiative which we welcome in the Tobago context,” he said
He said he was comfortable that under the astute leadership of Secretary Melville farmers in Tobago will be facilitated in a way that they can take full advantage of all the benefits and resources and all the training and opportunities that were made available from the Bank.
Melville said the mobile banking initiative will take banking facilities into the communities throughout Tobago and allow the farmers and fishermen to be able to interact with the Bank in a comfortable environment at home and in more familiar surroundings.