Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

May 18, 2006 08:51 ET

AAFC: Minister Strahl Provides Loan Enhancements for Farmers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 18, 2006) - Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board Chuck Strahl today announced the details of the Enhanced Spring Credit Advance Program (ESCAP), a budget commitment to ensure producers get access to more money starting this spring.



The program will:

- Double the loan maximum for spring advances to $100,000

- Keep the loans interest-free

- Extend the repayment period to September 30, 2007


"Doubling the interest free loan limits and extending the repayment period are practical steps we're taking to help farmers this spring," said Minister Strahl. "These programs are good for producers because they are straightforward and bankable. The improvements mean more cash flow to farmers to help ease the immediate cash crunch of spring planting."

Producers who have already taken their advance through the Spring Credit Advance Program (SCAP) will have the option to transfer their 2006 SCAP advance to ESCAP in order to take advantage of the higher interest-free limit and extended repayment period.

To implement these enhancements, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will immediately begin working with farm organizations that administer the SCAP, such as the Canadian Canola Growers Association, the Canadian Wheat Board, the New Brunswick Potato Agency and the Federation des producteurs de cultures commerciales.

BACKGROUNDER

ENHANCED SPRING CREDIT ADVANCE PROGRAM

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada currently operates two cash advance programs, the Advance Payments Program (APP) and the Spring Credit Advance Program (SCAP). Under SCAP, the federal government provides producer organizations and their lenders with a repayment guarantee for cash advances of up to $50,000 in the spring. The objective of the program is to help producers with the cost of putting in a crop in the spring.

Changes will be implemented to the program under the Enhanced Spring Credit Advance Program (ESCAP). Producers will be able to take advantage of the following enhancements this year:



- Doubling the interest free loan maximum available to producers
to $100,000 from $50,000.

- Extending the repayment period for loans by nine months.
Currently, the deadline to repay loans or to transfer a loan to
an advance under the APP is December 31 of the year in which the
loan is taken. For 2006, the deadline to repay loans is being
extended to September 30, 2007.


Cash advances are delivered across the country by producer organizations. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will immediately begin working with these organizations to implement the enhancements. Producers will have the option to transfer their 2006 SCAP advance to ESCAP in order to take advantage of the higher interest-free limit and extended repayment period

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972
    1 (866) 345-7972
    or
    Minister Strahl's Office
    Jeff Howard
    Press Secretary
    (613) 759-1059