Friday, August 18, 2017

Farmers get loans in Rakhine

A total of 7,264 farmers will get agricultural loans in Rakhine state this year resulting in a total of 120,415 farmers benefitting from a targeted loan amount of K 91.360 billion according to Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank (MADB) manager U Aye Thein.

“Most of them are new borrowers. As more people get farm form No.7 this year, and now face financial crisis, more people have applied for agri loans this year.” U Aye Thein said.

The loan period will be from May 23 until the end of September and K 12.349 billion (14 percent) has been extended so far. Last year, K 80.521 billion of loans were extended and the target was reached, he said.

The deadline for paying back previous loans was April 15, 2017 but only 29pc of the loans have been received. Some have been rushing to pay back only now at the time of new loan commencement and by far 73.48 pc of previous loans have been received, he added.

The bank will try and recover all the loans and the towns which cannot pay back their loans are located in remote mountainous and flood-prone areas lodged between mountains and salty water where agriculture is not well developed, U Aye Thein commented.

U Maung Htwee, a farmer from Kyauktaw, said that the reason for farmers’ defaulting in paying back loans was due to losses suffered from the fall in paddy prices and even the buying price of the State Government was only K3 lakh per 100 baskets; although China made a survey to buy paddy, they didn’t buy because there was no jetty in Rakhine in which a 20,000-tonne cargo ship can berth.

“Most of Rakhine’s paddy is sold to Magwe, Yangon and Mandalay. As transportation costs become higher, the merchants are less interested.

“Fertilizers are very expensive and it is a major problem for the farmers in Rakhine. We produce paddy but we can neither sell to mainland Myanmar nor export to foreign countries.

Translation by Zaw Nyunt