STATE LENDER OFFERS SUPPORT TO LOWER FOOD PRICES
Turkey’s state lender, Ziraat Bank, announced a series of new loan packages to support agricultural production in greenhouses, the commercialization of inactive greenhouses and a modernization of existing establishments in Antalya. According to a statement made Friday, the loan package will enable greenhouse investors to benefit from low-cost credits.
“Investors may take loans of up to 75 percent of the investment expenditures for the establishment of new greenhouses,” the statement read. “The investment loans will have a maturity period of up to seven years. The payments will be arranged in accordance with the revenues and revenue collection period.”
The loan program grants a two-year, no-capital payment period for new greenhouse investments. New investments will be encouraged in “Geothermal Greenhouse Organized Zones.” Loans with long-term maturities will also be provided to investors for the modernization, repair and renovation of inactive greenhouses. This facilitates the financing conditions necessary to start production and ensure their commercialization.
Ziraat Bank’s new loan package will also be available for investors hoping to fortify the technological infrastructure of active greenhouses. The funds can be used to modernize the facilities, boosting their productivity. Loans given for such investments will also offer long-term maturity.
The loans to be provided by Ziraat Bank will have lowinterest rates, and the treasury will subsidize a portion of the interest rate payments.
Ziraat Bank’s new initiative comes alongside the government’s efforts to stabilize food prices, which hiked after devestating floods hit the Mediterranean province of Antalya. Turkey’s greenhouse agriculture and investments are largely focused in this area. The increasing food prices also negatively affected January inflation numbers.
Turkey’s annual inflation went up 0.05 percentage points from 20.3 percent in December 2018 to 20.35 percent in January of this year. Food inflation alone was recorded above 30 percent.
Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said Thursday that if food prices remained unchanged from December 2018 to January 2019, inflation would have been 0.43 percent below zero. Annual inflation would have measured around 18.85 percent, he said.