Washington State Mexican Fruit Growers Converge on Olympia to Push for Access to Capital and Credit.
In particular, the group discussed recent problems accessing lines of credit and long-term financing from banks/lending institutions. The inability to obtain long-term financing and lines of credit is causing a significant, negative impact to the economic health and well-being of Latino/Hispanic fruit growers in Washington State as well as their local communities. The coalition employs over 1600 workers part time and over 100 workers full time annually. In fact, many Latino/Hispanic fruit growers in Washington State have lost or been denied operating lines of credit from banks/lending institutions for the upcoming growing season.
While in Olympia, the Washington State Mexican Fruit Growers Coalition told lawmakers that if something is not done immediately to help Latino or Hispanic growers (in Washington State) access lines of credit and long-term financing, many of its members will be forced to go out-of-business within the next 3 to 12 months. Additionally, the Coalition is disturbed about recent news reports (http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0910/05/sitroom.01.html) regarding unfair treatment and discrimination against Latino and Hispanic farmers, especially concerning the lack of access to USDA loans and disaster assistance. Some members of the Coalition have also experienced similar problems with USDA.
As a result, the Washington State Mexican Fruit Growers Coalition is urgently requesting assistance from legislators and agencies to help locate credit, capital and/or other funding options to resolve the above mentioned issues. Potential options could include:
* Getting lenders to more effectively structure credit and/or utilize government loan guarantees to help Latino/Hispanic fruit growers in Washington State;
* Finding appropriate state and federal programs that would provide financial assistance and/or credit for Latino/Hispanic fruit growers in Washington State.
In order to avert a major agricultural crisis, it is critical that solutions are found soon to get lenders in Washington State to provide financing and/or credit for Latino and Hispanic fruit growers in Washington State.
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|Comment:||Washington State Mexican Fruit Growers Converge on Olympia to Push for Access to Capital and Credit.|
|Date:||Oct 12, 2009|
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