Toshko Metodiev, Agricultural Producer

Toshko Metodiev, 57, lives in the small village of Vasilovtsi, near the town of Lom in northwestern Bulgaria. The purchasing power in this region is among the lowest in the EU*, and industry is not well developed in Vasilovtsi, where the traditional livelihood is growing cereals. Mr. Metodiev is no exception: like his father and grandfather before him, he is a farmer.

Over the years, Mr. Metodiev has developed his property and acquired more and more land. He now cultivates about 10,000 acres, raising sunflowers, maize, barley and wheat. Until recently, he mainly focused on expanding the size of his holding.

Last year, however, when Mr. Metodiev was planning to purchase farming equipment, including a brand new harvester, he approached ProCredit Bank. He hadn't known much about the bank until a business client adviser contacted him to recommend agricultural loan opportunities.

"I was pleasantly surprised by the loan expert who approached me just a few weeks before I became a client of ProCredit Bank. She recommended the bank's special offers for farmers at a time when I was not looking for banking services. However, she was very well informed about the agricultural business and understood my needs perfectly. That is why I called ProCredit when I was about to purchase the harvester."

In 2010 Mr. Metodiev received a loan from ProCredit Bank to purchase the combine. In addition to this investment loan, he was granted a credit line and has since taken out a few more working capital loans. ProCredit Bank's financing helped the ambitious entrepreneur to expand his farm, bring his machinery up to date and purchase more seeds for the new season.

"After 20 years of experience in agriculture I'm glad to have found a partner that I can rely on. I'm pleased that the bank takes my work seriously and that we have a responsible partnership."

Mr. Metodiev is happy that his three children are now working on the farm with him. His four grandsons, still students, also help out during their summer holidays. In the farming business, the key to success is hard work and continual development. That is what Mr. Metodiev wants to teach his children.

*Source: Eurostat statistics of 02.2011