The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) used to be a big player in the field of offering government-backed cash advances. The changes to the CWB’s structure and its transition to a private company created an administrative vacuum which 30 or so other groups that currently offer the cash advance have been working to fill.
Recently, another organization stepped in to help fill the void, as the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) launched the FarmCash cash advance program.
“We started this journey three years ago when a couple of producers started talking about the cash advance and if there was any possibility to have another option in the marketplace within Alberta,” says Syeda Khurram, CFO of AWC, and chief operating officer of the new FarmCash cash advance program.
Of course Alberta Wheat did not simply go into this blindly. They needed to make sure this was an option that farmers needed, and that it would be viable. “We went though a very strong due diligence process where we formed a producer focus group led by the producers and did a lot of analysis,” says Khurram
There has been a vey strong uptake in Alberta for the federal cash advance over the years. Khurram says that as much as 30 percent of the current applicants come from that province. What is exciting about AWC’s FarmCash program is that almost 25 percent of their applicants are new to the cash advance program.
Hear the entire interview with Syeda Khurram, chief operating officer with FarmCash, below.