This report was part of a study for the European Investment Bank with the financial support of the European Union. The study was conducted in 24 European Union Member States and the Portuguese report was published on 11 June 2020 on the fi-compass website.
The aim of the Portugal report is to provide insight into the drivers and financing gaps in the agriculture and agri-food sectors in the country. SPI’s inputs included desk research and field-work through group and individual interviews with farmers, agri-business entities and financiers.
The report evaluates the financing demand and supply in the agriculture and agri-food sectors from multangular points of view in the period before the COVID-19 outbreak. The findings show that the Portuguese agriculture sector has increasing investment from national commercial banks, which dedicate a supply of financing to the sector. However, evidence of a financial gap was found, mostly relating to small sized farms and long-term loans – partly resulting from the perception that agriculture is a volatile sector of economy. Similarly, the agri-food sector has benefited from an increasing rate of investment in recent years. Like the agriculture sector, the financing gap in the agri-food sector is focused on smaller enterprises and in regard of long-term loans.
The report develops several recommendations for both sectors. The recommended actions can be applied in the public and private sectors at a national and European level in order to better serve the needs of the sectors. The tangible and cross-sectorial recommendations include, 1) the reduction of financing gaps for SMEs through the enactment of European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development guarantee fund, 2) targeted support through pilot risk-sharing loan instruments, 3) implementation of additional technical support for entrants to improve general financial literacy and 4) setting up a legal framework in the context of easing the provision of grants and financial instruments to help entrepreneurs and SMEs.
The European Investment Bank will organise a conference on 16 November in Brussels with the aim of disseminating and discussing the results gathered from the studies with key stakeholders.
To read the full report, please click here.