ADB shariah compliant loans to Muslim farmers

(l to r):- Imran Hoosaney, Minister Maharaj, PM Persad-Bissessar, Yacoob Ali, Dr. Nasser Mustapha, signing the MOU
The Agricultural Development Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (ADB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with representative Muslim Organizations to develop shariah compliant financial instruments to allow Muslim farmers access to loans.  Government has allocated  $100 million to the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to fund its national loan programs to farmers.  When implemented the loans would be used to fund food production projects without violating their religious principles.

The signing took place at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s at an Eid luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Thursday August 23rd. Eid-ul-Fitur was observed on Sunday August 19th and marked the end of fasting for the holy month of Ramadan.

Signing the MOU were: PM Perad-Bissessar, Minister of Food Production Devant Maharaj and ADB chairman Rudy Maharaj, ASJA President Haji Yacoob Ali, Trinidad Muslim League President, Dr Nasser Mustapha and Tackveeyatul Islamic Association (TIA) President Imran Hoosaney.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar made the announcement Thursday at an Eid Luncheon at The Diplomatic Centre.

“I can with great certainty state that Government is very adamant and determined to ensure that the agricultural sector continues to grow, leading eventually to Trinidad and Tobago evolving into a food secure nation,” she told her Muslim audience.

“The Board of Directors (of the ADB) shares this vision and is committed to the concept of a food secure nation. But more importantly, I know we all possess the will to execute this vision.”

Persad-Bissessar said the Government is pleased to offer financing that respects the Islamic community’s code of ethics.

“This occasion we are also celebrating a very positive development in the financial services so we can accommodate our Muslim brothers and sisters which is in line with your teachings.

“This move…underlines my Government’s commitment to not only pursue development, but to pursue development in a manner which truly embraces the rich diversity of our nation,” she said.

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