The increase in the price of agricultural land last year – for the first time in six years – was welcomed as a sign of Ireland’s gradually strengthening agricultural economy.
One year on, signs of that strength are still there. After the fodder crisis, farmers have returned to the marketplace, and the outlook across many sectors is bright. But progress and growth requires cautious investment, allowing farms and farming businesses to prepare for the future as well as the impact of market variables.
Bank of Ireland showed its commitment to this sector when it provided more than €500 million in new lending approvals over the course of 2012 and is on track to exceed that this year according to Head of Agriculture at Bank of Ireland, Sean Farrell.
“Farmers and agri-businesses now represents one-third of our overall business customer base,” commented Sean. “We have a dedicated agri fund in place for farmers and we recently made a number of new appointments, increasing our team of managers in the agriculture department to five.”