Grenada’s agricultural sector has suffered significant damages because of the destructive forces of hurricanes Ivan (2004), Emily (2005) and Felix (2007). There is an urgent need for the resuscitation of the agricultural and rural sectors. The Government has instituted a number of programmes since 2005, including the Agricultural Enterprise Development Programme (AEDP) - a programme of agricultural credit. The current AEDP facility, administrated by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has a developmental focus through improving accessibility to credit for farm enterprises. Its primary function has been to provide a facility for enterprise analysis and preparation of development plans which have in turn supported the credit and investment possibilities. However, the direct financial management of the credit programme has placed excessive demands on the service which increases the need for these functions to be devolved to the appropriate institutions.
The overall objective is to promote rural economic development and diversification by improving access to credit for agricultural rural enterprises in Grenada.
The specific objectives of the programme are to:
- Create a sustainable and enabling environment for rural businesses,
- Strengthen credit institutions in ways that will enable them to increase the level of credit that they extend to agribusinesses and improve their own profitability,
- Provide technical support to agricultural entrepreneurs in ways that will enable them to meet the lending requirements of the credit institutions and improve the success of their venture,
- Identify and implement information technology platforms that will enhance the sharing of agricultural knowledge and facilitate agricultural commodities trading.
The expected results are:
- All credit institutions are exposed to best practice methods for lending to the agricultural sector,
- Credit institutions are facilitated in implementing financing programmes for the agricultural sector,
- The ratio of agricultural to personal credit extended by credit institutions is increased.
- Enhanced success rate of agricultural financing programmes implemented by credit institutions,
- Viable strategic alliances are forged between the credit institutions and other economic development agencies and associations to improve access to credit,
- Training and capacity building are provided to credit institutions to develop, deliver and manage credit facilities for agricultural enterprises development in particular,
- Identification and installation of an information technology platform (hardware and software) which will link programs of the Ministry, financial institutions and buyers of agricultural commodities with farmer,
- The flow of credit to agricultural enterprises by credit institutions is increased,
- The flow of credit to specially targeted socially vulnerable groups such as youth and women agricultural entrepreneurs is increased.