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Brazil's Bolsonaro Issues Decree Expanding Farm Credit

FILE - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a signing ceremony of a presidential decree providing federal organizations with free of charge publications by National Press, in Brasilia, Brazil, Sept. 30, 2019.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday signed a decree with a variety of measures to expand financing for farmers.

The measures include the creation of a "fraternal" fund that will provide an estimated 5 billion reais ($1.20 billion) in additional credit for the sector, according to Rogerio Miranda, the Economy Ministry's subsecretary for agriculture policy.

The fund will be partially funded by agricultural producers themselves and provides for farmers to band together to seek joint guarantees when renegotiating debts.

Bolosonaro is instituting the measures by what is known as a temporary decree, that must be approved by Congress within 120 days or its effects will expire.

The decree also included measures to equalize interest rates between all players providing loans to the farm sector, which officials said is aimed at promoting competition.

The policy will also subsidize grains companies to expand their storage capacity.

($1 = 4.1574 reais)