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Business Link Pacific (BLP) Specialized SME Loan

The BLP Concessional Loan program is implemented by DT Global in its capacity as Managing Contractor of the Pacific SME Finance Facility Pilot phase of the BLP programme. DT Global have partnered with Sugar Cane Growers Fund (SCGF) to deliver funding on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) under a New Zealand international aid and development programme by unlocking access to finance for small and medium size cane growers/operating in the cane belt areas of Fiji.
The facility is extended to Fiji’s sugar cane growers within policy guidelines set down by SCGF.

$30,000 per individual loan for qualified sugar cane grower.

The loans are targeted at productive cane growers who in addition to cane farming, wish to have a supplementary income. This program in no way seeks to undermine the aspirations of the sugar industry, but will have an integrated approach that will complement wealth creation for ordinary growers. As it is the concessional loan scheme is targeted at cane growers who are wanting to diversify and also deepen in sugarcane farming.
The grower needs to register a formal business and during the course of engagement must employee new staff with potential staff numbers to be capped at 50 employees as per eligibility requirements under the BLP programme.
The programme encourages good producing growers in accordance with the production matrix to (i) obtain loans so that cane farming aspirations are not diluted, (ii) motivates farmers to produce sustainable levels of cane and higher production, and (iii) improves the financial soundness of the program in overcoming cash flow constraints. The matrix of the loanable amount is provided in the table below:

Tonnage (average 3 years) and or Recent past unaffected cyclone Production or estimate of next seasonNIL Cane Farm LoansIf Cane Farm Loan
Below 100 tonnesNil However, the only exception for crops under the programme are that they add value to the land and that the growers retain cane production in excess 50 tonnes.Nil However, the only exception for crops under the programme are that they add value to the land and that the growers retain cane production in excess 50 tonnes.
100 – 200 tonnesUp to $8,000$4,000
201 – 300 tonnesUp to $12,000$8,000
301 – 400 tonnes$20,000 Support 50% of cane farming needs$10,000
401 tonnes and overUp to $30,000 Support 50% of cane farming needs$15,000 Support 50% of cane farming needs

Equity & Grant
10 % of the project cost as cash or collateral equity is to be provided by the borrower and 16% of the project cost is to be provided as BLP Grant assistance.

Interest Rate
Net 5% per annum which is subject to change from time to time with advance advice. The actual rate of 6% is being subsided by 1% under the BLP Concessional Loan program.

Up to sixty (60) months with such loans to be paid 5 years before the expiry of the leases of the landed property.

Monthly Repayment which may commence based on the cash flow and projection from the business (with a grace period of six months), or a balloon/lump-sum payment (not exceeding 12 months) on the sale of produce, depending on the type of crop and harvesting cycles with exception for purchase of plant and machines.

Mortgage over Farmland, Security Agreement over farm crops, Security Agreement over Farm Chattels (tractors, trucks, implements) with Insurance and Personal Guarantees and Irrevocable Authorities
taken on an “as required” basis.

Fees & Charges
Standard SCGF fees to apply.

Farming Practices in accordance with Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Fisheries and Sugar Industry guidelines with Business Registration mandatory.

As a Pilot Project it is the intention to initially roll it out to sugar cane growers of Viti Levu while farms are selected based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture thereby paving the way for commencement of loan assessment by SCGF.