Tuesday, May 20th 2014 – 08:42 UTC

President Dilma Rousseff announced Monday that the government will make available to Brazil’s farmers and ranchers a 156.1 billion Reais (70.5 billion dollars) credit line, a hike of 14.7% over the previous season.

The 2014-2105 Sugarcane Harvest Plan, announced Monday during an official ceremony at the presidential palace in Brasilia, plans to make 50.6 billion dollars available for financing operating costs and 19.9 billion for investment programs.

Rousseff acknowledged that given the size of Brazil’s agriculture sector, the funding for this plan could be insufficient, and said the government is ready and willing to increase this financial aid.

“We guarantee there will be no lack of credit for agricultural producers,” she said.

Despite some increases, the interest charged to agricultural borrowers will remain below the level of the benchmark Selic rate.

Agriculture Minister Neri Geller said during Monday’s ceremony that the Selic rate increased from 7.5% to 11% over the past year, but even so guaranteed that interest on loans for farming and stock raising will remain at an annual average of 6.5%.

The 2014-2015 Sugarcane Harvest Plan “will contribute to breaking harvest production records from this year forward,” Rousseff said.