Farmers account for just under a quarter of the total funding drawn down under the Future Growth Loan Scheme (FGLS) so far.

According to the quarter 2 (Q2) 2021 FGLS report by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), farmers account for 23% of the total amount of funding distributed so far.

Of over €590 million in loans made to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) up to June 30, over €135 million went the way of Irish farmers.

Separately, food businesses account for around 9% of the total loan value up to the first half of this year, accounting for over €52 million.

Fisheries accounts for 2%, or just under €11 million worth of loans.

Farmers also account for the largest single source of applications to the FGLS so far, at 29% or 2,470 applications. Of these, 1,208 have already drawn down the loan, accounting for 39% of the total number of individual loans drawn down under the scheme.

When agriculture, forestry and fishing are considered together in one sector, they account for by far the most approved loans, at 31%. The sector with the second highest number of approved loans, wholesale and retail trade, has less than half that number (15%).

Of the loans applied for by farmers, 1,279 (or 15% of all loan applications) were made for the “improvement of the overall performance and sustainability of the holding”. Of this, 640 loans have been drawn down so far, accounting for over €73 million (or 12% of the total value of all loans made).

Other agriculture purposes listed in the quarterly report for which loans have been granted are:

  • Creation and improvement of infrastructure – 899 loans approved, of which 418 drawn down, accounting for over €48 million;
  • Improvement of the natural environment – 253 loans approved, of which 134 drawn down, accounting for over €10 million;
  • Achievement of agri-environmental climate object – 22 loans approved, of which 11 drawn down, accounting for over €757,000;
  • Restoration of production potentially damaged by natural disasters – nine loans approved, of which three drawn down, accounting for just under €2 million.

Family businesses (farming or otherwise) account for 2,173 of the total of 3,094 drawn down loans so far.

Of all drawn down loans, 903 (or 30%) were taken out by clients of Bord Bia.