The citrus industry is expected to receive a major financial boost. That boost comes from the Social Security Board and it’s to the tune of sixteen point nine million dollars. The CEO of Citrus Growers Association, Dr. Henry Anderson explained how the money will be used.
Dr. Henry Anderson – CEO, Citrus Growers Association
“What SSB is offering is a package that allows growers to take out grown trees and replant at higher densities or bring new land into production so the loan is for a twelve year period. The first six years interest only the remaining seven to twelve years or six years is a blended payment interest and principal all on a reducing balance. The interest rate is a dual interest rate so in the moratorium period its 8.5% and in the paying interest and principal it’s at 7.5%. The criteria for the loan they have a minimum amount of $150,000; now that is a bit high for many of our growers but that is something that we are working on with other agencies to look at finding funding that is equivalent and doesn’t have that criteria. The criteria also that we would also have to look at is ensuring that they do the four pronged approach that they plant at higher densities, so the funding is geared not only to increasing the production but changing the economics of the industry by ensuring that at the production level we become more efficient and we utilize our land resources better as well as safeguard the investment by incorporating the four pronged approach.”