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The National Guarantee Fund supports foreign citizens who develop business in the agricultural sector in Bulgaria

The National Guarantee Fund also supports foreign citizens that develop their business in the agricultural sector in Bulgaria. The case of Ero Fabrizio Fresci, an Italian farmer, who works in Bulgaria is the topic of the TV series “Farmers and banks” on the BNT show “Furrows”. Fresci moves to Bulgaria in 2004 and notices the uncultivated land in Bulgaria. He wonders how come the land is left unexploited and he decides to embark on a Bulgarian adventure consisting in transferring his business to Bulgaria. He then settles in the village Shishmantzi in the municipality of Rakovski, he purchases the site and premises of the old Agricultural State Cooperative in the village and is currently cultivating over 30 000 dka in the region. Today Fabrizio is one of the biggest tomato producers in Bulgaria. He says that yield in the region is the same as in Italy, but that the tomatoes produced in Bulgaria are tastier.

“Two years ago I prepared my project with a total value of 1,5 million leva for the purchase of specialized equipment and machinery in the framework of the Rural Development Program and it was approved. In order to realize it I needed a loan. The bank would only provide me with a maximum of 50% of the value of the assets, but the “National Guarantee Fund” provided me with a guarantee that equals 80% of the loan principle. The loan approval procedure was quick and with the support of the Guarantee Fund the bank offered me a lower interest rate”, the Italian tells us. He also adds that it is the bank that prepared and supervised the documentation for the guarantee application.

“Practically the maximal amount of the guarantee granted by the NFG is 3 million leva, but not more than 80% of the loan principle”, Deian Kalapchiev, Manager of the “Business Development” Department of the Funds clarifies. He explains that the NGF guarantee is free of charge, so that the beneficiaries are not financially burdened in any way. The application procedure for the guarantee is extremely simple for Bulgarian, as well as for foreign citizens. The burrowers apply directly to the partner banks of the Guarantee Fund and in after a few days they receive the position of the Fund. “I would advise beneficiaries to take a greater interest in all the opportunities, that the commercial banks offer, in order for them to structure correctly their projects at the very beginning and to use their options to get better conditions on their loans”, Kalapchiev explains.

For Ero Fabrizio Fresci loans are necessary in order for the business to develop faster. He is pleased with his new equipment – he bought 5 machines for tomato irrigation that are equipped with a computer and all the other necessary upgrades. He has also acquired a last generation machine for tomato collection. The machine is equipped with photocells that select the tomatoes. Its capacity is 40 tons per hour. “This is an equipment in the absence of which it is impossible to develop contemporary agriculture – the Italian is persuaded – it replaces the work of about 1000 people a day”, he says.

 

The whole series can be found here

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