JIS News

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is placing much emphasis on loans for agricultural projects.
According to General Manager for Approved Financial Institutions (AFI), Emmy Lewars, “in all our credit lines, we have put agriculture in them to facilitate softer interest rates for agricultural projects. And at this time, we should emphasise ‘grow what we eat, and eat what we grow’, which the Ministry of Agriculture has been promoting,” she told JIS News.
Mrs. Lewars said that based on queries made at the DBJ’s booth at the recently held Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show, in Clarendon, “people want to go into agriculture; there is a thrust where people want to go into it full time as a business, and our response to that is, we have made all these lines available through the commercial banks and other financial institutions.”
She outlined that interests are fixed for the life of the loans, ranging from 10 to 13 per cent. “Persons can go to any of the People’s Co-operative (PC) Banks, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and the Agricultural Support Services Project will help to put together a farm plan for them, which is done free of cost,” she said.
Commenting on information gleaned at the Denbigh show, AFI Account Executive with the DBJ, Carmen McDonald, informed JIS News that the rearing of goats and sheep was of much interest to persons at the show.
“Make the necessary links with the Bodles Research Station and the various groups that are affiliated with that kind of production. The RADA officers and the livestock people are equipped to help. These are technical areas, and you need to pay attention, so that we can have some measure of success,” she advised.
Miss McDonald said she also recommended tree crop production as another viable area for some persons. “This needs patience, as it will take some time to realise the kind of returns you need. When you are doing tree crops, in the early stage you need to plant some short term crops that can grow between the trees, so that they can provide you with funds to pay your interest, and for you to have some money, while the tree crops are growing,” she added.

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