Last Updated on Saturday, 22 July 2023, 10:09 by Denis Chabrol
President Irfaan Ali on Saturday announced that his administration has struck a deal with several commercial banks to provide new and existing loans at 5 percent, aimed at bouncing back from reduced chicken production as a result of a viral disease and higher cost of feed.
He said in a statement that the interest rate for poultry farmers would be reduced from 8 percent to 5 percent at Citizens Bank, Republic Bank, Demerara Bank and the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry.
“Those persons, who have existing loans or these facilities; this new interest rate will be reflected in a new month for those who require new capital, this is a new interest rate. This is a tremendous moment for the poultry sector,” he said.
Dr Ali hoped that the stimulus would result in increased food production and lower consumer prices.
The President said under the deal, the commercial banks would not have to pay corporate tax on the interest income from those loans to poultry farmers. “I’m very pleased that all the commercial banks, I mentioned have already taken the decision to fully participate and to move towards reduction in interest rates almost instantaneously as this measure take effect,” he said.
With an expected prolonged dry spell, experts said government’s purchase of GY$29 million worth of vaccines would help to control the spread of the Inclusion Body Hepatitis (IPH) virus.
Government has already been importing chicken to sell directly to farmers with the expectation that they would use the earnings to reinvest in the sector. The poultry industry has also been grappling with an almost 100 percent increase in feed inputs- rice, corn and soya.