The agriculture sector continues to have a negligible share in the total loans to enterprises by 1.5% only due to the high risk associated with agricultural lending, the Bank of Albania said recently in its trend in lending report.

Albanian government, in collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched earlier this year the National Guarantee fund, a new lending instrument that would facilitate access to credit and share the risk among the government, EBRD and commercial banks.

The Fund aims at easing commercial banks and encouraging them to increase lending to this high-risk associated sector.

Ministry of Agriculture experts say the National Guarantee Fund is a kind of a cash collateral, especially when a majority of a enterprises also lack the due property ownership certificates.

According to experts, Ministry of Agriculture has been negotiating with commercial banks to cut interest rates on loans provided to farmers under the Guarantee Fund in order to increase agricultural lending.Burimi: ATA