SBCI Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme

This scheme is now closed for new applications

The Scheme aims to support farmers experiencing short-term financial pressure due to price and income volatility. The loans will enable farmers to plan and budget more effectively by providing an attractive cash flow support loan product as an alternative to more expensive forms of credit such as merchant credit and bank overdraft facilities.

The following product features are available through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank with SBCI’s support, subject to the financial institutions’ own credit policies and procedures.

Loan features

  • Up to a maximum loan amount of €150,000 per farm enterprise (see below State Aid section for further details)
  • Loan term of minimum 1 year up to a maximum of 6 years
  • Loans are unsecured
  • Optional interest only repayments provided at the start of the loans
  • Interest rate of 2.95% fixed for the term of the loan

Loans can be used for

  • Future working capital requirements (e.g. feed, fertiliser, trading stock, tax, other costs etc.)
  • As an alternative to merchant credit
  • To replenish working capital already used (prior to 31 December 2016)

Loans cannot be used for

  • Refinance of undertakings in financial difficulties
  • Refinance of existing debt (e.g. Terms Loans/Leases/Hire Purchase etc.)
  • New Investment

Who can apply

  • Micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are active in the primary agricultural sector in ROI and meet the eligibility criteria. SMEs are defined by the Standard EU definition [Commission Regulation 2003/361/EC] as those who:
    • have fewer than 250 employees
    • have a turnover €50 million or less (or €43 million or less on their balance sheet)
    • are independent and autonomous i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises
    • have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies
    • is established and operating in the Republic of Ireland

Who cannot apply

An SME that is:

  • in financial difficulty (excluding short-term cashflow pressures caused by the current market conditions)
  • is bankrupt or being wound up or having its affairs administered by the courts
  • in the last 5 years has entered into an arrangement with creditors, in the context of being bankrupt or wound-up or having its affairs administered by the courts
  • convicted of an offense concerning professional conduct by judgement, fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity where such illegal activity is detrimental to the European Union’s financial interests
  • engaged in solely forestry, aquaculture or equine related activities

Loans for the purchase of breeding stock are excluded.

Eligibility Criteria

The SME will also be required to declare to the bank which one of the following conditions it satisfies:

  • is participating in an agri-environment scheme as part of a Rural Development Programme or;
  • is a member of a Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme or are a certified member of a Quality Assurance Scheme run by a co-operative, processor or producer representative body or;
  • is a member of a Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (“DAFM”) registered Farm Partnership or;
  • has completed or is participating in the financial management elements of DAFM’s Knowledge Transfer Programme or previous programmes such as BTAP1 and STAP2, or has a certificate (or other evidence) in relation to participation in Financial Training from Teagasc or another body relating to eligible agricultural sectors

Use of Information

  • The information provided by the SME will be shared with the SBCI (and its authorised agents) and the DAFM
  • Under EU Regulation the DAFM has to publish information on the SME on its website

State Aid

The Scheme is being made available to farmers:

Support for financing

This financing is provided by the SBCI with the support  by the COSME Counter-Guarantee to the SBCI provided through the European Investment Fund (EIF) using support from the European Fund for Strategic Investment (“EFSI”) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.

Period of the Scheme

The Scheme will operate from January 2017 to the 30th of September 2017.

1 Beef Technology Adoption Programme
2Sheep Technology Adoption Programme