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The AFSC overall borrowing limit will increase from $2.8 billion to $3.6 billion by 2024 to make sure that Alberta farmers, ranchers and food production have reliable access to capital.
AFSC’s improved lending ability will help us meet our value-added investment attraction goal of $1.4 billion for agriculture and food production in Alberta over the next 4 years – with a target of 2,000 new agriculture jobs. Since we set those targets last fall, we’ve already achieved $527 million in new investment and created more than 981 new jobs in Alberta.
To create new agriculture business opportunities we’re also doubling the individual lending limit from $15 million to $30 million from AFSC. This increased limit will help to better support larger agriculture deals in the province.
AFSC offers lending support for food production through the Agribusiness Loan Program as well as loans for primary agriculture producers: the Next Generation Loan Program, Developing Producer Loan Program, Alberta Producer Loan Program, and the Revolving Loan Program.
The borrowing limit is a funding cap set by government for the entire AFSC lending program, and we’re raising this limit to attract investments to further economic diversification and support growth in agriculture and food production.
We’re also reducing red-tape by making it quicker and easier for clients to access loans from AFSC. Their quick loan process approves loans up to $150,000 in less than a day, and they’ve reduced average loan approval turnaround time by a day, meaning most loans are approved in under a week. AFSC has also improved loan renewals, with automatic renewal for loans in good standing and a new, client-friendly process for loan payment deferral when needed. Simple modernizations like accepting electronic client signatures add convenience to the process as well.
We asked AFSC to work on continuous improvement, and they’re assisting with the government’s focus on economic development and job creation.
Devin Dreeshen served as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry from April 30, 2019 to November 5, 2021.