Tuesday, July 25, 2017

K64.5b agri loans in Mandalay

This year, K64.5 billion monsoon agricultural loans will be extended in Mandalay and loan amounts for other crops will also be increased, according to state-owned Myanma Agricultural Development Bank (MADB) of Mandalay regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.

After borrowing from the largest state-owned lender Myanma Economic Bank (MEB), the MADB will extend loans of K1.5 lakh per paddy acre and K0.5 lakh per acre for other crops, instead of the current level of K0.2 lakh per acre, to farmers starting from the third week of May, MADB regional manager U Win Myint told the Myanmar Times on May 17.

“We will start extending loans on May 23. Half of our proposed amount was approved. That is K64.55 billion.

“Loan periods are specified by union ministries. The monsoon loan period is from May to September,” U Win Myint said.

Loan application forms have been distributed to the farmers via MADB branches in the townships and the submissions are now under scrutiny by bank officials, it is learnt.

The target is for loans to be extended to 1253 village tracts covering 544,770 paddy acres and 949,525 acres for other crops.

However, out of K93.88 billion loans extended last year, only K76.997 billion has been paid back as of May 16 and K16.882 billion remains yet to be returned.

Ten out of 23 townships have paid back all the lending and there are 13 townships which have outstanding balance to settle. Yamethin and Pyawbwe townships are those with the highest unpaid amounts. Also, in Myittha, 63.3 percent of the loan has been collected, according to MADB statistics.

“82.2 percent of last year’s loans has been returned. Some townships have yet to pay back. The deadline has passed. Only if all loans have been paid back will new loans be extended. It is good if they can pay back before the deadline. That money is not our department’s money,” U Win Myint added.

The farmers can apply for agricultural loans at the MADB by submitting farm ownership forms and a farmer can get a loan of K1.5 lakh per acre for a maximum of 10 acres.

“It is good if loan amounts are increased. If they pay back the loans beyond the deadline, the interest of 1 kyat for every 100 kyats has to be given.

“With challenges such as climate change, the farmers have to deal with more expenses in the business,” U Myo Thein, a farmer from Patheingyi township, said.

Translation by Zaw Nyunt