4 Aug 2009 14:30

Farmers affected by drought to receive deferments on loan payments

ORENBURG. Aug 4 (Interfax) - Russian grain producers who have suffered from this year's drought will receive deferments of up to three years on their loan payments, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with farmers in the Orenburg region on Tuesday.

"There have been proposals on banks and the Agriculture Ministry studying the situation and prolonging loans," he said, noting that deferments for "farms that exclusively handle crop raising could total up to three years."

"The situation should be easier for others and for diversified farms that handle not only grain but livestock. I believe it is necessary to simply prolong [loans] from six months to nine months," he said.

A government decree on prolonging loans to farmers by six months is already in effect, Putin said. This was done "so that each farm could use these resources before the end of the year and collect all [the grain] in August and release it in September-October," he said.

"Thus, you will have the opportunity to gather the harvest, receive funds and settle with banks," he said.

Putin warned farmers about the need to think about the sale of their goods ahead of time. This means that it is necessary to think ahead of time that the product should be sold and contracts should be in place because if you sell in 2011, it will be a bit more difficult," he said.