Brazil coffee producers hurt by frosts could get government credit

FILE PHOTO: Frosted leaves and coffee cherries hang on coffee crops that were affected by frosts as a strong cold snap hit the south of the top Brazilian producer state of Minas Gerais, in Varginha, Brazil, July 30, 2021. REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s coffee producers suffering losses from the frosts in July could receive 1 billion reais ($192 million) in additional financing credits from the Coffee Economy Defense Fund (Funcafé), the National Coffee Council (CNC) said on Tuesday.

The proposal, which could be approved on Friday by the government’s coffee policy council (CDPC), was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina and Economy Ministry officials.

“We intend to reserve 1 billion reais for this sector, in addition to the 160 million reais already approved,” said CNC president Silas Brasileiro. “We want to put the funds in the hands of producers as soon as possible,” he added.

The proposal would still have to get the green light from the National Monetary Council (CMN), Brazil’s top financial policy-making authority.

The CMN has already authorized 5.95 billion reais this year in resources for financing various coffee activities through Funcafé.

Strong frosts on July 20 may have hit up to 200,000 hectares (494,210 acres) of Arabica coffee plantations, or 11% of the total area devoted to this bean variety in Brazil, according to a preliminary estimate by the government’s crop supply agency(Conab).

Reporting by Roberto Samora; Editing by Sandra Maler