Since the first speech of President Luis Abinader, the Dominican Government has promoted a program for agricultural and livestock producers of zero rate loans where these have the facility of not paying interest.
Initially, from August 16, 2020, RD$5,000 million were announced and later RD$400 million more were received in this fund, that is, the Agricultural Bank initially had RD$5,400 million.
However, some RD$2.2 billion more were recovered from other agricultural loans and allocated to this program. In total, during the administration of President Abinader and Fernando Durán as general administrator of Banco Agrícola, the agricultural sector has financed RD$7,600 million at a zero rate, with a total of 8,224 formalized loans.
In the other traditional financing programs, which this entity lends at a rate of around 8%, RD$18,000 million were lent during 2020 and RD$31,000 million in 2021, for a total of RD$49,000 million in addition to the RD$7,600 million rate. zero.
Therefore, in the last two years, the Agricultural bank, an institution that contributes around 60% of the formal resources allocated to agriculture, It has financed the agricultural sector with RD$56.6 billion and only 13.43% is at zero rate.
When speaking with Listín Diario, the bank’s administrator, Fernando Durán, stressed that there are several sectors that have benefited from zero interest for their productions.
Durán reported that the first operation that was carried out was to provide RD$150 million to the Dominican Agricultural Insurer (Agrodosa), with which it paid overdue debts from the last three to four years with producers, many belonging to the banana and rice zone that had been affected.
He also stated that all the garlic that was planted in 2021 in Constanza was made with a zero-rate loan of RD$144 million and the tomato producers from last year’s harvest were lent around RD$370 million at a zero rate.
Also, the head of the Agricultural Bank said that when Luis Abinader’s government began, in Cibao Central Tobacco producers had around 30,000 quintals of tobacco without buyers, for which the entity provided resources to the cigar processors at a zero rate so that they could buy it.
He specified that debts from other sectors and cooperatives related to cocoa, rice, beef cattle and milk, were resolved with this program, according to Durán.
When asked the administrator of the Agricultural Bank about the impact of inflation on some local products despite these facilities for producers, he attributed the situation to a “seasonal effect.”
“The fundamental products of the Dominican diet such as rice, beans and chicken meat have an enviable stability that many countries in the world would like to have,” said the official.
He recalled that in the case of bananas, for example, in winter due to weather conditions, production is reduced because bananas need a lot of heat, which happens with other products as well.
“Few times have we had the stability of prices in this time that we have now, such as food, rice and chicken and egg production,” said Durán. .