EU agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan signed in Romania a European Investment Fund (EIF) financing agreement that will channel over €150 million, including €87.8 million from the EU budget, to Romanian farmers via four Romanian banks.

In a ceremony in Bucharest with Romanian agriculture Minister, Petre Daea and EIF Secretary General, Maria Leander, Commissioner Hogan said: "Financial instruments and access to credit for farmers has been a key priority for me as Commissioner for agriculture. Access to credit is essential for farmers to modernise and develop their agri-businesses. By investing to make their farms more competitive and more efficient, our farmers can improve their business prospects as well as reducing their climate and environmental impact. I commend the EIF for implementing this mandate, and I look forward to seeing how Romanian farmers and rural entrepreneurs make the most of this finance."

Managed by the EIF under the Romanian rural development programme, this risk-sharing loan instrument is a very useful and long awaited instrument by farmers, processors and entrepreneurs from rural areas. Especially in Romania, risks linked to agricultural activities are high and have a big influence on interest rate levels and collaterals required for a loan.

It is expected to reach over 1,300 local farmers and rural entrepreneurs who will be able to invest in their agricultural activities, processing and marketing of agricultural products and diversification of their non-agricultural activities as well.

Source: European Commission