Bank of Ireland reveals €100m Agri Assist loan fund

New loan fund specifically designed to support farmers dealing with the rapidly increasing cost of farm inputs.

Bank of Ireland has launched a €100m Agri Assist loan fund.

The fund has been designed to help farmers deal with rising farm input costs such as feed and fertiliser.

“There is no doubt that the increasing price of farm inputs, has placed extra strain on farm cashflows”

A recent United Nations report revealed that world food commodity prices hit their highest ever levels in March, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine blocking off a major part of global grain supply.

The Agri Assist loan fund is the latest in a line of Bank of Ireland supports in response to the fast-moving Ukraine situation, with the Bank already committed to: more than 1,000 new accounts opened for recently-arrived Ukrainians, refunds on charges for sending money to Ukraine and Moldova; Bank of Ireland donations to the Ukraine response at more than €270,000; applying international banking sanctions; supporting displaced Ukrainians through its Vulnerable Customer Unit.

Rise in input costs

To help farmers meet these challenges, Bank of Ireland is the first Irish bank to launch its own Agri Assist product to support farmers currently dealing with the rise in farm input costs.

With the price of fertiliser tripling over the past number of months in tandem with feed grain prices doubling, the Agri Assist loan fund is now open to farmers looking to better manage their enterprises through a period of high input price inflation and ongoing supply pressures.

A key feature of the Agri Assist loan is that farmers can avail of additional working capital for their farm at a competitive 3.86% rate with extended repayment terms of up to three years.

Farmers can apply to the fund to:

  • Finance the cost of growing grass, silage and tillage crops
  • Provide funding to pay merchant or co-op bills for feed or fertilizer
  • Avail of loans up to €100,000 under a discounted rate of 3.86%,
  • Set suitable loan terms ranging from 6 months to 3 years depending on need

“Bank of Ireland currently provides more than 50% of new lending to the agri sector, and our primary role is to support and advise farmers on meeting challenges as they arise,” said Eoin Lowry, head of Agri Sector at Bank of Ireland.

“There is no doubt that the increasing price of farm inputs, has placed extra strain on farm cashflows. Given that only one third of farmers currently have borrowings, we have launched the Agri Assist loan fund to ease some of this strain.”

“This new €100m fund provides an additional level of support to farmers so that they can ensure they have sufficient cash to manage their farms through the summer months. Bank of Ireland is proud to be the first Irish bank to bring this to market, and has worked as part of the National Fodder and Food Security Committee to devise our own practical solution that will help farmers, many of whom may never have taken out a loan up to now. I would encourage farmers looking for assistance to come and talk to us, so that we can explore the steps on offer to enhancing their financial wellbeing,” said Lowry.

Main image at top: Eoin Lowry, head of Agri Sector at Bank of Ireland, with the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, TD, at the launch of the new €100m Agri Assist loan fund

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.