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COA puts forth special aid programs to help farmers, fishermen

COA puts forth special aid programs to help farmers, fishermen

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) The Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture put forth an expanded array of new lending programs Thursday to help farmers and fishermen whose crops have recently been damaged by cold weather or incomes diminished as a result of the economic downturn.
Minister of the Council of Agriculture Chen Wu-hsiung said during a report at the Executive Yuan that the interest rates of special relief loans, consumer loans and "repayment loans" for farmers and fishermen will all be lowered by 0.5 percent beginning from January.
Chen said the lowered lending rates will benefit some 370,000 fishing or farming households, with their interest burden sliding by a total of NT$770 million (US$23.19 million).
The COA will make NT$50 billion available as special relief loans for the fishing and farming households for 2009, marking an increase from the NT$35 billion that was made available in 2008, Chen added.
Meanwhile, the COA is making NT$15.5 billion available to lend to some 160,000 farming and fishing households as "consumer loans, " and the amount of loans that the farmers and fishermen are entitled to get will also be raised from the current level of NT$250,000 to NT$300,000 per household, he said.
Under the "repayment loans" program, farmers and fishermen can get fresh loans of lower interest rates and a longer repayment term -- from the current five years to seven years -- to repay their old loans. Some 8,000 farmers and fishermen are expected to benefit from this program, Chen pointed out.
(By Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2020-11-30 16:37 GMT+08:00