Brazil Offers Farmers Low-Interest Loans to Fight Soybean Rust

The Bank of Brazil (BB) opened an emergency credit line of US$ 85 million for farmers in the Center-West region to underwrite the costs of preventing and controlling Asian soybean rust.

As of now, farmers can direct themselves to BB branches to put in their requests. The funds should be made available by February 28.

Each applicant can solicit up to US$ 60,000, which is what it costs to prevent the disease on a thousand hectares of soybean plantation.

Annual interest rates will be 6% for miniproducers, 8.75% for small and medium-sized producers, and 10.75% for large producers.

The Secretariat of Agricultural Policy (SPA) in the Ministry of Agriculture estimates that soybean producers suffer US$ 2 billion in annual losses due to Asian rust.

US$ 1.2 billion of this total represent direct losses – crops that are destroyed -, while the other US$ 800 million represent money spent to control the disease.

In the 2004/05 harvest the country lost 4.5 million tons of soybeans in consequence of Asian rust.

ABr

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