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6 January, 2014 - 09:23 By News Desk

Farmers cash in on field of gold

AF Group CEO, Clarke Willis

Members of the UK’s largest agricultural purchasing group borrowed £2.6 million through a peer-to-peer lending scheme during 2013.

Sixty-four members of Anglia Farmers (AF) took advantage of the AF Finance Limited scheme to support their cashflow requirements.

The peer-to-peer lending scheme, which is now approaching the end of its second year, allows members with surplus funds to lend anonymously to other members who require short term finance and is now seen by many as part of their regular cashflow funding.

One Norfolk arable farmer, who has borrowed through the scheme on three separate occasions, said: “It has been very straightforward to use. I believe that peer-to-peer lending is the way forward and this scheme enables me to get inputs on farm earlier.”

AF Group CEO, Clarke Willis said: “We have been delighted with the success of the scheme and we have proved that this model of borrowing and lending works. It has become a very flexible option for borrowers who need revolving credit.

“Being able to access un-secured crop credit means our members can buy their key inputs, such as animal feed, seed and fertiliser, when prices are at their most competitive.”

AF Finance is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AF. The scheme is confidential for both borrowing and depositing participants and applicants are subject to approval.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Clarke Willis

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