ODB to provide loans for seasonal crop cultivation

Oman Development Bank (ODB) in association with Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries organised a seminar on the bank’s role in investing on developing agriculture. The seminar focused on the benefits farmers can avail from agricultural loans provided by the bank, in addition to the facilitations provided for developmental loans to enhance agricultural production.
Mounir bin Salem al Hanaa’y, Manager in the Department of Seasonal Loans, presented a paper on the seasonal agricultural loans (Mawsimi) provided by the bank, pointing out that the bank gives high importance to loans for the promotion of agriculture as it is the pillar supporting the food security of the Sultanate of Oman. Moreover, this loan facility will help achieve self-sufficiency to maintain the agriculture crops and livestock, and help establishing and sustaining agriculture with added value and increase production.
The bank provides subsidised developmental loans for the agricultural sector in many fields; for example, establishing new farms, irrigation systems, expansion and development of farms; developing and maintaining farms, drilling wells for agricultural purposes and beekeeping.
Al Hanaa’y also pointed out that the bank provides seasonal loans to fund the seasonal crops, which have short-term cultivation period with fixed productive cycle. He said the bank has fixed a maximum limit for seasonal loan at RO 50,000 and can be utilised for cultivating vegetables and fruits including chilli, cucumber, eggplant, watermelon, melon, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage and wheat.
There is a big advantage over other loans for farmers as it has simple procedures to get the approval and the fund amount is disbursed directly to the owner of the agricultural land.
For applying the loan there is no need to present quotations from product suppliers, only the area to be cultivated, the value of the agricultural produce, and the agricultural land will be taken into consideration.
The loan eligibility is estimated through the cost of cultivation for each crop or each acre of the farmed crops and it covers 70 per cent of the total cost, with a repayment period of nine months. In the first phase, 70 per cent of the sanctioned amount will be disbursed immediately after signing the contract and the rest after the first visit to the projects, to make sure that all the production requirements are complied.