BanEcuador offers 15-year term loans with a five-year grace period. The government presented a plan to overcome the crisis facing the sector. The Minister of Agriculture, Xavier Lazo, announced this Wednesday, November 28, in La Concordia (Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas) the launch of the First Plan for the Reactivation of Oil Palm in Ecuador, aimed at helping the producers of that fruit.
Since2013, the sector has been affected, especially in the provinces of Esmeraldas,Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas and northwestern Pichincha, due to the incidence of the rot of the heart (PC) in their crops.
In Ecuador there are 257,000 hectares dedicated to the cultivation of Palma; 45%is in Esmeraldas. The announcement was made at the Casa Grande hostel in front of about 250 growers and palm oil extractors.
The plan includes associative, credit and technical components. Byron Flores,undersecretary of Agricultural Production of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), pointed out that one of the measures is the establishment of23 information units (UI) in the same number of palm oil extractors of Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Pichincha, Sucumbíos and Orellana.
These units will provide the producers of MAG, Agrocalidad and BanEcuador services.In the financial area, Rafael Silva, general manager of BanEcuador, announced the creation of a specific loan to meet the requirements of the sector.
It isa 15-year loan, with a 5-year grace period and an interest between 9.76% and11%. Producers have the possibility to refinance their credits or apply for new financing in the event of an increase in production areas, explained Silva.
Flores added that financial support will also be given to those who want to start other crops or combine palm products and other species. In the future, specific credits are studied for another type of planting such as coffee, cocoa, banana.
The agriculturist Francisco Chávez said that there is an expectation for the results of the program, given that the producers perceive greater openness on the part of the authorities.
Minister Lazo said that the government understands the situation, so he designed the aid plan. However, he called on producers to be creative in overcoming the situation, combining crops and developing alternative products. (I)