New Microloans Expand Small Farm Finance Options
FSA to Help Beginning and Small Farmers
January 25, 2013
(SitNews) - New and beginning farmers, growers, and ranchers in Alaska now have a new agricultural Microloan credit option to consider. As of Jan. 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is offering its customers a Microloan designed to help farmers with credit needs of $35,000 or less. The loan features a streamlined and simplified application and qualification process to fit the needs of new and smaller producers.
“We have heard from Alaskans that they want a simplified loan process. This innovative offering will be more customer-friendly than our larger, more traditional loan programs,” said Danny Consenstein, State Executive Director. “Alaskan producers seeking a smaller loan for start-up or operational needs now have a great new tool to consider.”
“For those selling at Farmers’ Markets or addressing food security in rural areas with hoop houses and greenhouses, this new Microloan might serve their needs perfectly,” Consenstein continued. “And the reduced paperwork will help expedite the process for everyone.”
In 2012, the Alaska Farm Service Agency (FSA) provided $1.226 million in farm loan assistance to agricultural producers of all sizes in Alaska. That year, the majority of the loans were for operating expenses, with twenty loans approved to producers, while only one loan was provided for a farm ownership loan.
“The interest rate of 1.25 percent on the new FSA Microloan is also a great benefit for farmers and growers who are just starting out, in need of capital and on a tight budget,” according to Consenstein. “Producers in Alaska can contact their nearest FSA office for details and to determine if they qualify for a Microloan.” The Microloan term can be up to seven years.
In response to tighter financial markets, USDA has expanded the availability of farm credit, helping farmers refinance loans across the U.S. Since 2009, USDA has provided more than 128,000 loans to family farmers totaling more than $18 billion. Over 50 percent of the loans went to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
For more information on Microloans and other FSA programs, please contact email@example.com (Palmer, Alaska).
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