The Fiji Times » Access to Finance

Business Link Pacific hopes that by partnering with financial institutions such as the Sugar Cane Growers Fund in Fiji, they will be able to remove some of the barriers, helping businesses build back better with the right finance and affordable business advice. .

BLP Director Steve Knapp said they were aware that SMEs had longstanding problems accessing financial services due to demand and supply factors, overlaid by significant to gender.

“These issues have become more acute since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.

Yesterday, BLP announced its new partnership with the Sugar Cane Growers Fund (SCGF) to help sugarcane stakeholders and growers access adequate resources and capital to diversify their income, contribute to sustainability and grow inclusion within the sugar industry in Fiji.

According to a statement from BLP yesterday, through the SME Finance Facility managed by BLP, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is investing NZ$530,000 (F$762,949) which will be made available in under the Cane program of the Sugar Cane Growers Fund. Development Revolving Fund as well as its priority loan service.

As part of the partnership, funding priority is currently open to ginger cultivation projects for sugarcane farmers in Viti Levu.

Meanwhile, the BLP hopes that this new partnership will enable sugar cane growers to access business advisory services in the country in key areas such as financial management, information technology, planning continuity and e-commerce in order to bounce back from the pandemic and develop sugar cane. industry.

According to BLP, the financing will not be limited to the cost of inputs alone, but can be used for the development of agricultural capital, such as the construction of bulk stores, the acquisition of factories and machinery, boreholes, water pumps water and agricultural vehicles that supplement the producers where reimbursement is supported. directly from the product in question.

The pilot project encouraged female farmers to participate, adding that the first three female farmers will receive full water tanks through the grant component of the funding.

Registration is open from March 10, 2022 to March 31, 2022. Expressions of interest can be submitted here.

Under the partnership, the capital will enable sugarcane grower members to access financing and loans between $5,000 and $70,000 to diversify into ginger and access subsidized business advisory services through the BLP network of business advisory service providers.

A new term loan facility product by SCGF will be rolled out at a reduced interest rate of 5% per annum (instead of 6% per annum) with a maximum loan term of 60 months.

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