JIS News

The Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, is advising that a revolving loan of $50 million, administered by the National People’s Co-operative Bank, is available to small fishers to move the sector forward.
Fishers can use loans to retool, purchase additional equipment, boats, engines and other inputs. The repayment schedule is negotiable, and is based on the circumstances of the individual.
“It is a micro loan scheme; it is made available for small scale fishers at a maximum of $500,000. The beneficiaries will need to have equity of 20 per cent of the loan, with the interest rate being 7.8 per cent,” Director of Fisheries, Andre Kong, told JIS News in an interview.
For fishers to access the loan, they must be licensed with the Fisheries Division, and have at least two years relevant experience in the sector. A moratorium on payment is possible, such as in times of natural disasters, when beneficiaries may be unable to meet their payment.
Chairman of the Calabash Fishermen’s Co-operative, in St. Elizabeth, Shawn Taylor, told JIS News that the scheme is welcomed by the industry, “as previously, interest rates were too high for us to obtain loans.”
“So, this fund will go a far way in developing the industry, and we as fishermen prefer to fish for our living, rather than beg a fish. And we are going to make use of this loan scheme,” Mr. Taylor said.