The FINANCIAL — Barclays is making £100mn available in loans to boost the UK agriculture sector, to help future-proof the industry for the next generation, improve efficiency and create additional revenue streams to limit effects of market volatility.
The multi-million pound fund will be available for farmers looking to modernise their infrastructure, helping to streamline their farming processes and increase efficiency. It will also assist farmers looking to reduce their farm’s exposure to market volatility by providing funds to invest in viable diversification projects either within agriculture or from non-agriculture sources.
The fund is in in addition to the ongoing support that Barclays offers to the sector. Loans from the fund have fixed fees starting at 0.6% for a loan term of 0-5 years, 0.75% for loans that are 6-10 years and rising to 0.90% for loan terms of 11-15 years, according to Barclays.
Mark Suthern, Head of Agriculture at Barclays, said: “We are committed to supporting British farming and we are dedicating £100mn in lending solely for use within the farming industry to help boost the industry’s profitability and efficiency. This fund will provide essential investment; the fund will also make it easier for farmers to find alternate sources of income, decreasing the impact of price volatility on farm incomes.”
The fund comes at a time when the UK agriculture sector faces a number of challenges that have placed increasing pressure on farmers. From concerns about commodity prices, which have remained steadfastly low, to poor weather impacting output, adding further pressures to the industry.
Oliver McEntyre, National Agricultural Strategy Director at Barclays, added: “After the turbulent times of the last few years, many farm businesses have found ways to improve efficiency, this fund is released to assist the progression of this – it is not about increasing production, it is about helping our customers access the finance to invest in producing the same quality and quantity of product for less cost, or finding solid alternative income streams.”
Barclays supports over 20,000 UK farmers and, with a team of over 120 Agriculture Managers across the UK, has one of the biggest Agriculture banking team’s in the UK making it Britain’s leading agricultural bank.