The moratorium on the calculation of penalties by banks and on forced execution proposed by the Association “Force of Farmers” cannot be imposed as the Republic of Moldova doesn’t have legislation based on which the authorities can institute such a form of support, said Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Bolea, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry. After the press briefing given by the minister, the farmers who are in the central square of Chisinau with their tractors had honked continuously, IPN reports.
The minister said that he realizes the precarious situation of the grain producers and they daily work to identify solutions to support this sector. But not even the Commission for Exceptional Situations has powers to institute the moratorium asked by the farmers. The law doesn’t stipulate possibilities of intervening in the private relations between two business entities, in the current case between the bank and the farmers who took out loans. “Therefore, I propose identifying the legal framework for offering real and legal support to grain producers who reached an impasse,” stated Vladimir Bolea.
According to the official, only six out of the 11 banks operating in Moldova provide loans to farmers. He plans to have a meeting with representatives of these banks and a list of the farmers who raised bank loans will be later compiled. It will be determined which of these during the past five years experienced payment incapacity, how many could not honor their obligations and how many are close to insolvency.
Vladimir Bolea also intends to have a meeting with input importers to see how many business entities entered payment incapacity this year. By the end of this week, he will also discuss with representatives of microfinance associations to examine the portfolio in agriculture and see the tendency as regards the payment incapacity.
The authorities also do not accept the farmers’ demand to allocate 500 million lei from the 2024 fund of the Agency for Intervention and Payments in Agriculture for paying subsidies to corn and sunflower producers. “The Government doesn’t support this proposal as it considers that it is discriminatory against the other farmers who made investments in 2023, took out loans from banks and banked on these subsidies,” stated the minister.
According to him, the constituted working group will determine the seriousness of farmers’ problems based on information provided by banks, input importers and representatives of the microfinance sector and of the association of insolvency managers. Based on this information, a list of eligible famers will be compiled and the method of support and the sum of money that will be allocated will be decided afterward.
The farmers brought their tractors to the central square of Chisinau last week, addressing a number of demands to the authorities. They said they will wait for a response from the authorities until Thursday and, if their demands are ignored, they will travel with their tractors through the capital city.