On February 26, 2021, the RA Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan visited the Rural Finance Facility (RFF) to get acquainted with its activities, as well as current and planned programs.
The purpose of the Facility is to support the intensification of agricultural activities in rural areas by making appropriate financial products accessible to small and medium-sized producers and entrepreneurs.
Accompanied by Ashot Vardanyan, the Director of the State Agency “Rural Areas Economic Development Programs Implementation Unit”, and Vahe Harutyunyan, the RFF Acting Director, the Minister walked around the office and talked to employees.
Then programs implemented by RFF in the field of agriculture in the Republic of Armenia were presented to the Minister. It was noted that RFF implements international financial programs, the objective of which is to provide long-term and targeted loans to small and medium-sized business entities participating in programs, with a preferential repayment schedule and at below-market interest rates. Loans are provided to business entities via intermediate institutions - 20 financial institutions participating in RFF programs, which split into eight commercial banks and 12 credit organizations.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is RFF’s main partner in international programs. During the period 2005-2020 the Facility implemented and continues to implement seven international programs.
The Minister was also informed that during the period 2005-2020 RFF financed around 11,000 beneficiaries.
RFF designs different credit products depending on the program and market requirements. The main areas of lending are animal breeding, horticulture, greenhouse farming, leasing of machinery and equipment, crop development, processing, poultry farming, fish farming, beekeeping, and other sectors.
The RFF representatives briefly referred to the “Infrastructure and Rural Finance Support Programme” launched in 2016, which aims to improve the socio-economic situation of the population in the project implementation area by creating employment and income generation opportunities.
During the meeting, the Minister was also introduced to the RFF programs planned for 2021 and upcoming initiatives, including also a program on organization of financial processes management of nine projects envisaged by the state subsidy programs.