Agriculture Investment Loans

The following product features are available through partnered On-Lenders with SBCI’s support, subject to the financial institutions’ own credit policies and procedures.

Product Features

  • Available for investment by agricultural SMEs involved in primary agricultural production, the processing of agricultural products or the marketing of agricultural products.
  • Lower interest rates
  • Loan amounts up to €5m
  • Minimum loan maturity of 2 years

In addition, subject to the financial institutions’ credit policies and procedures, the following features may also be available to qualifying SMEs:

  • Repayment schedule flexibility
  • Loan maturity of up to 10 years
  • Facility maturity tailored to correspond with investment life cycle

Example – Agriculture Investment Loan

A dairy farmer in Tipperary needs to invest in new milking machinery to increase the productivity of the farm. A new robotic milking machine will cost €130,000 including installation. It has an estimated lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

Existing Products

In this scenario without the SBCI, the SME’s bank may approve a term loan of €130,000 at their standard agricultural term loan rate of, say, 6.95% interest.


The SBCI agricultural investment loan, provided through its on-lender, is approved at, say, 5.00% over a 7-year repayment term. The reduced cost of the SBCI loan is illustrated below:

Existing ProductsSBCI Product
Facility Amount€130,000€130,000
Interest Rate6.95%5.00%*
Loan Term7 years7 years
Monthly Repayment€1,959 €1,837
Total Cost of Credit€34,545€24,342

* Estimated SBCI nominal rate. SBCI rates may vary by On-Lender and according to loan size and other factors. Repayments calculated on basis of constant payments and constant interest rate.

Summary of Eligibility & State Aid

  • Available to qualifying SMEs
  • Borrower must submit a written loan application before work on the project or activity commences along with a list of costs.
  • Loan amount must not exceed 1.5 times the amount of eligible costs (as defined in Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 of 25 June 2014), as follows:
  1. the construction, acquisition, including leasing, or improvement of immovable property;
  2. the purchase or lease purchase of machinery and equipment up to the market value of the asset;
  3. general costs linked to expenditure referred to in points (a) and (b), such as architect, engineer and consultation fees, fees relating to advice on environmental and economic sustainability, including feasibility studies; feasibility studies shall remain eligible expenditure even where, based on their results, no expenditure under in points (a) and (b) is incurred; and
  4. acquisition or development of computer software and acquisitions of patents, licenses, copyrights, trademarks.

The following costs are not eligible:

  1. costs, other than those referred to in paragraph (a) and (b) above, connected with leasing contracts, such as lessor’s margin, interest refinancing costs, overheads and insurance charges;
  2. working capital; and
  3. VAT (except where it is non-recoverable under Irish law).
  • The aid intensity or total aid resulting from a loan shall not exceed 40% of the amount of the eligible costs.
  • Investments shall be in conformity with EU legislation and with Irish law on environmental protection under the Protection of the Environment Act 2003.
  • Loans may be advanced to support investments in tangible assets or intangible assets on agricultural holdings linked to primary agricultural production or processing of agricultural products and the marketing of agricultural products.
  • Where the loan is to support investments in tangible assets or intangible assets on agricultural holdings linked to primary agricultural production, the investment should pursue at least one of the following objectives:
  1. the improvement of the overall performance and sustainability of the agricultural holding;
  2. the improvement of the natural environment, hygiene conditions or animal welfare standards, provided the investment goes beyond EU standards;
  3. the creation and improvement of infrastructure related to the development, adaptation and modernisation of agriculture;
  4. the achievement of agri-environmental-climate objectives; and
  5. tThe restoration of production potential damaged by natural disasters, adverse climatic events, animal diseases, plant pests and the prevention of damages caused by those events.

Further details on the State Aid requirements pertaining to these loans are provided here

Summary of Excluded Activities

  • Finance of specific export operations, or finance contingent upon the use of domestic over imported products. In particular, it should not apply to financing the establishment and operation of a distribution network in other States, or current expenditure linked to the export activity.
  • Loans to support investments required to comply with EU standards in force.
  • Loans to an undertaking which is subject to an outstanding recovery order following a previous Commission Decision declaring an aid illegal and incompatible with the internal market.
  • Loans to undertakings in difficulty.
  • Loans to support the purchase of production rights, payment entitlements and annual plants.
  • Loans to support the planting of annual plants.
  • Loans to support drainage works.
  • Loans to support the purchase of animals.
  • Loans to acquire land.