New EU credit initiative could help get young people into farming – ICOS

A new financial instrument announced by the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) aims to help ease access to finance for farmers and other rural businesses.

ICOS attended the announcement in Brussels by Commissioner Hogan and senior officials of the European Investment Bank and warmly welcome what it called an ‘innovative’ initiative.

ICOS says while we are in early days of the design of this instrument we see that it has the potential to make available at least €200 million worth of new investment to generate jobs and growth in the Irish rural economy up to 2020.

From an agri co-operative perspective, this funding has the potential to be used to fuel investment to drive our farmer owned dairy industry to meet the challenges and opportunities it faces post quota, it says.

However, according to ICOS even more important than those big investments, the fund has the potential to drive generational renewal in Irish agriculture.

It says the fund could be used to invest in getting young people into our industry.

It also says the fund could be used to help our farms and businesses invest to embrace the key sustainability agenda and the initiative may be a funding source for start-up rural to feed into the economic recovery of the Irish countryside.

ICOS says it looks forward to working with the EU institutions, our own state agencies, banks , existing co-operative members and communities to examine ways to ensure that this programme can work and deliver on its potential.

It calls on the Irish Government to prioritise the implementation of this new financial instrument so that farmers, co-ops and rural entrepreneurs can access this money as soon as possible.

See also: New European initiative to help farmers access credit