Rice stor­age loans call re­newed

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

THE Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Bank (RDB) has called for the sec­ond round of rice millers’ ap­pli­ca­tions for loans from the bank to build 50,000-tonne rice ware­houses and 1,500-tonne si­los in a bid to give mills a high ca­pac­ity to store rice in the har­vest sea­son.

The dead­line of the sec­ond call will be on Septem­ber 22 be­fore screen­ing and eval­u­at­ing the ap­pli­ca­tions, ac­cord­ing to the RDB.

The sec­ond call came af­ter only four rice millers ap­plied in the first call which had a dead­line on Fri­day last week.

RDB CEO Kao Thach hoped the last call would push other mills to ap­ply for loans. He was not sure why only four rice millers sought financial sup­port from the RDB, be­cause the bank had tried to broad­cast the an­nounce­ment via the mass me­dia.

“We de­cided to make a sec­ond round of calls to rice millers to ap­ply for loans be­cause we were afraid that in the first call, they might have missed or not re­ceived any in­for­ma­tion about the an­nounce­ment,” he said.

Hun Lak, vice-pres­i­dent of the Cam­bo­dia Rice Fed­er­a­tion (CRF), said the loan an­nounce­ment had reached the tar­geted rice millers, but he said the low price in the mar­kets meant there was not a high de­mand among rice millers for stor­age.

“Some mills are wait­ing for a big amount of rice or­ders. When there is a surge in the in­ter­na­tional price, they would need cap­i­tal to ex­pand their ca­pac­ity,” Mr Lak said.

Song Saran, CEO of AMRU Rice Cam­bo­dia, one of the four com­pa­nies which ap­plied to RDB in the first round, said that the bank re­cip­ro­cated to the de­mand of his com­pany, which had spe­cific plans.

RDB’s cri­te­ria were in line with plans to de­velop the Cam­bo­dian Agri­cul­ture Co­op­er­a­tive Co­op­er­a­tion in Kam­pong Thom prov­ince, which would store, process and ex­port rice, Mr Saran said.

“We need funds to build the agri­cul­ture cen­tre in Kam­pong Thom,” he said.

“Prod­ucts from Preah Vi­hear and Siem Reap will ben­e­fit from the cen­tre. So we see the cri­te­ria from RDB are well suited with our plans,” Mr Saran said, adding that build­ing a huge stor­age ca­pac­ity was costly.

“It is to ex­pand the project over the ex­ist­ing one. The gov­ern­ment’s plans have the same di­rec­tion, so we can walk on the same path,” Mr Saran said.

The gov­ern­ment through RDB has ap­proved $30 mil­lion for loans to build rice ware­houses and si­los at five per­cent in­ter­est and re­pay­ments over ten years.

The first $15 mil­lion was dis­bursed in April to the Rice Bank to build a stor­age fa­cil­ity and silo in Bat­tam­bang prov­ince.

An­other $15 mil­lion is for build­ing ware­houses and si­los in Kam­pong Thom, Prey Veng, and Takeo prov­inces. Two of these are in Kam­pong Thom, one is in Prey Veng, and the last is in Takeo.

The lim­ited amount of money for build­ing ware­houses and si­los has made mills seek financial sup­port from for­eign in­vestors, ac­cord­ing to Mr Lak.

– Kh­mer Times

Photo: Kh­mer Times

Rice millers may not be in need of stor­age due to low mar­ket prices.

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