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Sunday 20.05.2018 | Name days: Venta, Salvis, Selva
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SEB: mood of Latvian farmers gradually improves

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe overall mood of Latvian farmers has improved in comparison with the previous year. Such are the results of the recent SEB Bank’s Baltic Business Outlook. More than 70% of farmers plan to increase turnover this year. 50% of farmers are prepared to invest in the development of their activities.

According to results of the survey, turnover growth of more than 15% is expected by 31% of Latvian farmers, which is 20 points more in comparison with the previous year. 43% of farmers believe their turnover will grow 15%. At the same time, the number of pessimists has grown by 3 percentage points – 26% of rural businessmen are preparing for a drop in turnover.

SEB Bank board member Arnis Skapars: «Agriculture in Latvia has been demonstrating stable growth for some time. This is related to tendencies observed on the global market and the continued improvement of competitiveness of Latvian entrepreneurs, which is enhanced by the available EU funding in this area. Agriculture is very sensitive and depends for the availability of EU funds and Rural Support Service. Considering the finances provided by structural funds available to farmers this year, optimism among farmers continues to grow. Rural entrepreneurs take on loans more actively and plan their investments accordingly – buy land and invest in development of their business. Survey data shows that 50% of farmers plan investments up to EUR 30,000 this year. Farmers were active last year as well – enterprises working in the agriculture sector were provided with funding from SEB bank work approximately EUR 40 million.»

Availability of funding provided by EU structural funds last year had contributed to farmers activity in relation to modernizing their equipment. Activity in the leasing sector had grown 72% last year. The volume of allocated funding had grown 29% and had reached EUR 20 million.

SEB Leasing manager Nellija Kocanova: «This year’s changes to Latvia’s legislation made it more difficult for Latvian farmers to lease agricultural equipment in cases where farmers were eligible for funding from structural funds. Nevertheless, we managed to find a solution to preserve support for farmers. We have noticed that rural entrepreneurs from Vidzeme remain the most active in this segment. Survey results also show that entrepreneurs from Vidzeme are the most optimistic among entrepreneurs in Latvia – they plan to increase turnover and carry out investments. This also applies to entrepreneurs in Riga.»

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