The Maryland shellfish aquaculture financing program will be accepting a second round of applications between January 2 and January 31, 2011. The program received 16 applications totaling more than $1.3 million during the first round, which closed on November 30.
There is a total of $2.2 million currently available for the program, which is a cooperative effort among the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), the University of the Maryland Sea Grant Extension (UME) and the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO).
The new shellfish aquaculture loan program is a subsidized program with principal payments returning to a revolving fund to support additional shellfish aquaculture funding needs in the future. The loan program offers partial loan forgiveness for borrowers meeting certain performance conditions. MARBIDCO is pricing the loans at a fixed annual interest rate not to exceed 4.5 percent. A Shellfish Aquaculture Financing Committee, including representatives from DNR, MDA, UME, a Maryland farm credit association, and MARBIDCO, has been established to evaluate applications and proposed business plans.
To begin the application process, interested parties may contact Karl Roscher of the Maryland Aquaculture Coordinating Office (MDA) at 410-841-5724. An application and aquaculture business planning template are available at www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/oysters/industry/funding.asp.
source: MD DNR press release