Barclays announces new £100m funding package for farmers
BARCLAYS has announced a £100 million fund to boost the agriculture sector.
The money will be dedicated for farmers to invest in business efficiency, agri-tech and to diversify into new revenue streams.
Barclays said the support aimed to aid the sector at time of market volatility and long term low prices.
The fund will be available to farmers looking to modernise their infrastructure, helping to streamline their farming processes and increase efficiency.
It will also assist farmers looking to reduce their farm’s exposure to market volatility by providing funds to invest in viable diversification projects either within agriculture or from non-agriculture sources.
Barclays' head of agriculture Mark Suthern said: “We are committed to supporting British farming and we are dedicating £100m in lending solely for use within the farming industry to help boost the industry’s profitability and efficiency. This fund will provide essential investment; the fund will also make it easier for farmers to find alternate sources of income, decreasing the impact of price volatility on farm incomes.”
The fund comes at a time when the agriculture sector faces a number of challenges that have placed increasing pressure on farmers.
From concerns about commodity prices, which have remained steadfastly low, to poor weather impacting output, adding further pressures to the industry.
James Trotman, agricultural business manager at Barclays in the north added: “After the turbulent times of the last few years, many farm businesses have found ways to improve efficiency, this fund is released to assist the progression of this – it is not about increasing production, it is about helping our customers access the finance to invest in producing the same quality and quantity of product for less cost, or finding solid alternative income streams.”
Barclays supports over 20,000 UK farmers and has a team of more than 120 agriculture managers across Britain and Northern Ireland.