Cuba banker says state has lent 'millions' to more than 13,000 farmers
under ag initiative
By Associated Press, Published: July 10
HAVANA — Cuba says it has extended more than 13,000 farm credits under
an agricultural overhaul launched by President Raul Castro.
Ileana Estevez is president of the Banco de Credito y Comercio. She says
state banks have lent "millions" at interest rates ranging from 3
percent in the first years to a high of 7 percent.
Cuba began restructuring the agricultural sector in 2008, letting
private farmers cultivate fallow state land. The initiative aims to
reduce dependence on costly food imports and is part of a wider economic
Farmers can work plots as big as 100 acres (40 hectares) in renewable
agreements of 10 years for individuals and up to 25 years for cooperatives.
State newspaper Juventud Rebelde published Estevez's comments Sunday.