Irish agriculture is to share in £84 million worth of “attractive loans” over the next three years, courtesy of the European Investment Fund (EIF).
The new funding package is part of the EU’s “Investment Plan for Europe” and brings together the EIF with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) in a programme which will make 100m (£84m) of loans available at “more attractive rates” for an estimated 2,000 Irish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The whole package is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
The EIB is also due to open an office in Dublin, a move welcomed by the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan (pictured above).
“Supporting SMEs is a key element of our strategy to boost jobs and growth, particularly in rural areas,” he said, adding that he hoped EIB’s decision to open an office in Dublin will “facilitate many more such agreements in the months and years ahead, especially in the agri-sector”.