Minister Peleshi informs investors on the IPARD Program and the Guarantee Fund

Minister Peleshi informs investors on the IPARD Program and the Guarantee Fund

Investments in agri-business: what you need to know before you apply?

The American Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, organized an Informative Session for the Promotion of Support Schemes, as part of the IPARD Program and the Guarantee Fund, also with the attendance of the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Niko Peleshi.

The meeting focused on delivering information on support schemes, selection criteria, steps to be taken to take advantage of the loans, as well as the sectors to be financed. Minister Peleshi presented a summary of this Program, also providing an overview of the funding possibilities offered by the Guarantee Fund.

“The first component covers farm investments, which are supported in the range of 50-70%, for investments up to € 500.000. The second component covers investment in agri-processing, fish processing, aquaculture, and others. Investments up to € 2 million are supported in the ranged of 50-60% of the investment in the form of a grant. The third component is the diversification of the economy, in which agri-tourism, medicinal plants processing, and other processes are incorporated. They are supported for investment in the amount of up to € 400.000, with 50 or 60% of the investment value. The first two components will be announced in May, the third component, the diversification of the economy, agri-tourism, etc., will be announced in September. ”

Minster Peleshi informed the participants on the Guarantee Fund as well, and how it can be accessed through second tier banks.

“In terms of loans we have a fund called the Guarantee Fund, partners in which are a number of banks and financial institutions.  We cover the risk factor for these banks, which are party to he agreement with the government and the EBRD. This means that these banks are more lenient in “granting loans with the best interests’ rates and without too many conditions imposed.”

The Executive Director of AmCham, Enida Bezhani, drew the attention of the members on the fact that within the AmCham they have access to some of the financial institutions and banks that are part of  the Guarantee Fund agreement and also to consultancy firms that have experience in financing of agri-business or can help members with specialized expertise in accessing these funds.

The AmCham members were interested in receiving additional information on application timelines, financial criteria, land documentation and many other elements that would help them be winning candidates for the IPARD Program or Guarantee Fund application. This was the first meeting of more to come.