Cuba: Over 13,000 Farmers Have Received Bank Credits
HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 11 (acn) The president of Cuba’s Banco de
Credito y Comercio (BANDEC), Ileana Estevez, told the press that
Cuba has extended credits to more than 13,000 people who
benefited from a national program to lease idle lands in order
to boost agricultural production nationwide.
Estevez, who said that state
banks have lent millions at interest rates ranging from 3%
in the first years to a high of 7%, added that, although
figures may vary from year to year, today the challenge is
bigger than ever due to the current process to update the
national economic model.
The executive told Juventud Rebelde that granting
agricultural credits is a risky activity because of the
perils associated to climate, plagues, and diseases.
Cuba’s restructuring of the agricultural sector began in
2008, when private farmers were allowed to cultivate fallow
state land. The main purpose of the initiative is to reduce
dependence on costly food imports and is part of a wider
economic overhaul. Farmers can work plots as big as
100 acres (40 hectares) in renewable agreements of 10 years
for individuals and up to 25 years for cooperatives.