Ferhat Pişmaf, the Marketing Group Head of Agricultural Banking at Ziraat Bank, told Anadolu Agency (AA) correspondent that the amount of loans they provided for agricultural production in the 2010-2020 period exceeded TL 258 billion and the number of producers they made loans surpassed 4.5 million people.
Pişmaf said, “As of the end of August, we have 685 thousand producers (debtors) and loans over 73.4 billion TL. 33 percent of these loans are investment loans and the remaining part is working capital loans.”
Stating that the Ministry of Treasury and Finance gave a robust interest support to producers in the agricultural loans provided by the bank, Pişmaf said that with this interest support, the interest rates reflected on the producers almost fell to zero in some production issues.
Pişmaf also drew attention to the fact that most of the growth in agricultural loans in recent years has been provided by loans extended by Ziraat Bank.
Pişmaf stated that producers can pay their loan debts on time thanks to the right pricing and financing with the right models and cited that the NPL (Non-Performing Loans) ratio of the bank arising from agricultural loans is much lower than the sector average, at a low rate of 1.8 percent.
“Agriculture sector and financing of agriculture matters the country”
Ferhat Pişmaf indicated that they offer structuring and installment options where producers can pay their loan debts more easily in case they have difficulty in their payments.
Pointing out that as of the end of August, 121 thousand producers have benefited from the opportunity of spreading their loan debt of approximately 6.8 billion TL over a long term within the framework of these practices, Pişmaf explained, “As Ziraat Bank, we raise awareness with loan products suitable for the different problems of our producers and the agricultural strategies of our country, as well as standard loans. We direct and develop our producers through practices such as ‘I Have A Lot Of Reasons To Live In My Village’ (I Have a Herd of Sheep In My Village), ‘Greenhouse Loan Package’, which aims to install accumulated agricultural irrigation and electricity debts and improve sheep farming. Moreover, we raise educated young farmers with Ziraat Bank Young Farmers Academy.”
Pişmaf emphasized they will continue to financially support the agricultural sector and provide loans to them under favourable conditions in order to improve the country’s agriculture and increase the income level of the producers, as it has been since the establishment of Ziraat Bank.
Pişmaf advised agricultural producers and investors to stop by Ziraat Bank about their agricultural activities and to get information about loan applications and concluded:
“At Ziraat Bank, they will surely find a solution suitable for their agricultural activities and investments. The pandemic process has once again shown to the world that if agricultural production and therefore food supply are interrupted, nothing else will matter. For us, the agricultural sector and financing of agriculture is a national issue. As we come to the end of the harvest period in many products, on the other hand we are entering the harvest period for many products. I wish convenience to our producers who harvest their products and prepare for the new season.”