FREDIC (the Regional Fund for International Cooperative Development) is a financial tool specifically for agricultural programmes run by the Midi-Pyrenees Region on the basis of decentralised cooperation. It was set up by the Midi-Pyrenees Region and ASODIA (the South-West France association for the international development of farming) to bring together the main professional farming organisations in the Midi-Pyrenees Region (the Regional Chamber of Agriculture, the Regional Federation of Farming Cooperatives, MIDATEST, etc.).
Established in December 2003, FREDIC runs cooperation programmes that make sure projects are supported and help ensure they tie in with regional farming development policies.
This fund is designed to support farmers' collectives and individual farmers as part of collective projects in the sector. FREDIC supports international farming cooperation measures by providing loans tailored to meet specific needs in terms of rates and terms. It gives priority to projects that involve the beneficiaries themselves in organising the production process and in structuring their professional organisations.
It also prioritises pilot schemes likely to be further developed by local bodies.
In practical terms, FREDIC acts:
· as a guarantor for credit lines negotiated with national and international fund providers,
· or – exceptionally – providing direct loans, enabling farmers to obtain loans at rates of between 3% and 6% for terms of one to five years.
This fund is intended to introduce or try out arrangements for state-guaranteed loans and investments, in consultation with the banks of the countries concerned, for specific groups and sectors.
FREDIC is not a legal body, but a financial programme contributed to on a voluntary basis by partners interested in or concerned by the international activities of the Midi-Pyrenees Region and ASODIA.
FREDIC currently holds capital of around EUR 1 million.
· In Vietnam: Son La Province
Dairy sector: a loan of EUR 39 200 was granted to the Moc Chau Dairy in September 2008 for the purchase of 46 animals by the farmers. This loan, with an interest rate of 6% over five years, with deferred repayment, was linked to a number of technical measures being implemented.
Arboricultural sector: a loan of EUR 18 000 was granted in June 2009 to the 19th of May Cooperative for the purchase of a still for manufacturing plum-based spirits.
· In Senegal – Thiès region
Direct loans totalling EUR 190 205, at rates of between 3% and 5%, were granted to different sectors (grain banks, solar drip irrigation, market gardening, etc.) between May 2007 and June 2009, to six farming collectives representing a population of around 100 000.
· In Senegal – Saint-Louis region
Dairy sector: in autumn 2009, two farming collectives and eight experimental farms in the dairy sector were able to obtain loans from CNCAS (Senegal's national agricultural credit bank) totalling EUR 120 000, with assistance from the Ministry for Livestock Farming and through partnerships with FONSTAB (support fund for animal sheds) and CNCAS.
These loans, repayable over five years, were granted a subsidy by FONSTAB, bringing the interest rate down to 3%. Through its financial intermediary, the Toulouse Caisse du Crédit Agricole (agricultural credit bank), FREDIC provided the CNCAS with interbank collateral to cover 75% of the value of the loan. The beneficiaries provided a personal deposit equal to 15% of the loan. This personal deposit was held in a blocked bank account and received interest. The CNCAS's risk stood at 10%.