Human Rights

Albayrak: Agricultural Credit Cooperatives are not Agricultural Producers or Farmers

Minister of Treasury and Finance Albayrak has answered the Parliamentary question of CHP MP Gurer, who asked why the loan rates of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives are around 23-24 percent despite the decree stipulating an 8-percent loan rate.

Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak has responded to the Parliamentary question of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) MP Omer Fethi Gurer, who asked the minister a series of questions regarding the loan rates of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives.

With his questions to Minister Albayrak, the MP brought it into Parliamentary agenda why the Cooperatives in question give loans to farmers with commercial credit rates of 23-34 percent despite a cabinet decree stipulating an 8-percent loan rate for agricultural credits.

Albayrak: They are not agricultural producers

Answering the written question of Gurer, Minister Berat Albayrak has said, "Agricultural Credit Cooperatives are not agricultural producers or farmers. The loan rates charged by banks from agricultural producers cannot be applied to Agricultural Credit Cooperatives."

As for Gurer, he has said, "Either the Minister is not informed about the cabinet decree or they have instilled vain hopes to farmers again. Farmers are head over heels in debt. Agricultural land of 3,4-million hectares has been abandoned by our farmers in the last 7 years."

Gurer: Farmers' loan expenses constantly increasing

In his Parliamentary question, CHP MP Gurer reiterated that Agricultural Credit Cooperatives give agricultural credits, which are allocated to them by the Ziraat Bank, as commercial credits and stated the following:

"As the rate of agricultural credits is 8 percent, the gap between is collected from the farmer as 'resource utilization fee". When the interest rate gets higher, the resource utilization fee of agricultural credit also gets higher.

"Thus, while farmers think that their loan rate is 8 percent with discount, the loan expenses are gradually increasing without farmers realizing it."

In this context, Gurer asked Albayrak a series of questions regarding the issue, including "whether the 'resource utilization fee', or the secret interest, will continue increasing as the market rate of interest gets higher."

Gurer: It needs to be reduced to 19 percent

Making a statement about the issue, Gurer has also indicated,

"In the current situation, the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives give loans to farmers at an interest rate of 23-24 percent, excluding the commission charges. The Agricultural Credit Cooperatives have to reduce the interest rate of agricultural credits to at least 19 percent. The debt of farmers is growing apace due to high interest rates, which, in turn, affects the agricultural production negatively."

Source: English Bianet