Farm Loans to Reach up to 16 Million Tenge

ASTANA – Micro loans for rural entrepreneurs will be increased up to 16 million tenge (US$46,912), announced Minister of Healthcare and Social Development Tamara Duissenova at the Nov.7 government meeting.

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Last year, 11 billion tenge (US$32 million) was allocated from the Employment Roadmap 2020 funding for preferential micro loans as part of the memorandum between the Agriculture Ministry and Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development.

“The Nur Otan Party initiated colossal work on job creation and micro loans in rural areas. Unfortunately, there is very little advertisement. It is necessary to tell people about these instruments. I have a question if the increase of the loan amount has been discussed. I consider that three million tenge (US$8,796) for business development in rural areas is not enough,” said Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament) Deputy Mukhtar Tinikeyev.

Six million tenge (US$17,592) for loans was already approved this year, noted Duissenova.

“We are collaborating together with the Ministry of Agriculture to increase the loan amount to 16 million tenge (US$46,912) with a credit period of up to seven years. This issue is currently under consideration and I believe it will be resolved favourably,” she said.

Duissenova added 6,834 microcredits were already issued in 2016, 89 percent of which were allocated for agriculture, and 30.8 billion tenge (US$90 million) is expected to be provided for small loans this year. Previous practice has shown state programme participants use agriculture loans for livestock development, as it is the most affordable business for farmers.

Rural entrepreneurs are currently able to get a loan up to 6 million tenge (US$17,592) on favourable terms as part of the Employment Road Map 2020 initiative. The state programme assists in developing business in the Akkol, Bulandy, Shortandy and Zerenda districts.