Rice millers in need of capital can now apply for government emergency loans, according to the Rural Development Bank (RBD), the institution in charge of disbursing the loans.
In a statement yesterday, RBD called on rice millers interested in accessing extra credit for the upcoming harvest season to apply as soon as possible, as demand for emergency loans this year is expected to increase following the construction of several rice storage facilities in the past few months.
“This season we have new silos and warehouses which means storage capacity is much higher,” said Kao Thach, RBD’s director.
The loans are part of a lending mechanism initiated by the government in 2016 to help millers who are short on cash buy paddy rice from farmers and keep the price of the commodity stable.
Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice, a firm that received a $5-million loan last year to build a silo and a warehouse in Kampong Thom province, said they will apply for a new loan this year to buy 100,000 tonnes of paddy rice.
He said the emergency loan programme has proven to be a very useful scheme for millers around the country.
In the past year, several rice storage facilities have been built in the country’s main rice-producing provinces by private companies that used emergency loans, with the government making available $15 million to fund the construction of storage facilities.
In 2016, the first year that the emergency fund was made available, $27 million were disbursed. Last year, the fund was expanded to $50 million, but only $36 million were dispensed.