The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) will increase the maximum eligible for the Young Farmer Rebate program to $200,000 from $150,000, effective April 1.
Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced the change on March 25 in Brandon.
“Increasing the young farmer rebate supports our focus on young producers by reducing the cost of borrowing while they grow their operations,” Eichler said in a release.
The program provides an annual rebate of up to two per cent on the principal of a loan from MASC for up to five years. The lifetime maximum rebate will also increase to $20,000 from $15,000.
MASC president and CEO Jared Munro said the enhancement is expected to provide an additional $500,000 in interest reductions in the next fiscal year.
The release said that as farms consolidate and barriers to entry increase, MASC is enhancing its programs, with a target that 75 per cent of new loan approvals be for young farmers.
The young farmer rebate program is part of MASC’s Bridging Generations Initiative, which provides producers under the age of 40 with financial incentives and customized terms and repayment options. In 2017-18, MASC issued 815 direct loans under the Young Farmer Rebate program.
Other measures geared at young producers include higher percentages of available financing for large purchases and the ability to make interest-only payments for the first five years of a loan.