Sugarcane farmers who are members of SCGF can access loans to move into ginger farming

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Sugarcane farmers who are members of SCGF can access loans to move into ginger farming

Sugarcane farmers who are members of the Sugar Cane Growers Fund will now be able to access loans between $5,000 to $70,000 to diversify into ginger farming.

This has been made possible through an investment of $530,000 by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade into Sugar Cane Growers Fund’s Cane Development Revolving Fund, as well as its priority loans service.

This has been done through the SME Finance Facility managed by Business Link Pacific.

A new term-debt facility product will also be rolled out at a reduced interest rate of 5% per annum, with a maximum loan term of 60 months.

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A key qualifying requirement is that Sugar Cane Growers Fund members and participants under the scheme register a new and separate business with the Registrar of Companies, enabling farmers to transition into the formal economy if they have not already done so.

The funding will not be limited to input cost but can be used for agriculture capital development such as construction of bulk stores, the acquisition of plant and machinery, boreholes, water pumps and farm vehicles that complement those producers where the repayment is supported directly from the resulting produce.

Entries opened from 1st June this year and the scheme will be rolled out based on the ginger growing season.

Sugar Cane Growers Fund Board member, Sundresh Chetty says this is another historic moment and is perhaps the first time one of the international bodies is partnering with them. He says diversification is timely for sugar cane growers, when world prices of grains and fuel are going up.

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