State bank to drop small farmers’ debts

The state-owned Agricultural Development Bank will drop the debts of some 41,000 farmers as of next week, the bank's director announced Tuesday.

Mohsen Batran, head of the lending institution, said the debt forgiveness applies to farmers with loans of less than LE10,000 each. 

The Finance Ministry is expected to bear the LE107 million cost of the plan, which President Mohamed Morsy ordered.

Batran explained that debts above LE10,000 have been categorized for the bank to study.

“Our total bad loans up until the end of 2011 amount to LE263 million,” he said, adding that the bank halted any legal action against farmers months ago. 

“We also dropped 50 percent of the debts of the Sinai farmers, which amount to LE59 million,” he said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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