STATE LENDER OFFERS SUPPORT TO LOWER FOOD PRICES

Dünya Executive - - OVERVIEW -

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.

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