Cambodian officials are seeking up to $50 million from the Exim Bank of China to provide loans to private partners who will buy paddy rice this harvest season.
Son Kuthor, president of the state-run Rural Development Bank (RDB), said last week that previous negotiations for a loan of $200 million stalled because of differences between the parties in how the loan should be used.
“We don’t hope for $200 million because of the conditions the bank imposed,” he said.
“We now hope to receive a pilot loan to buy paddy rice. We’ve so far suggest $20 to 50 million,” he added.
“This loan is for the private sector because the Cambodian government does not have the funds to purchase the harvested paddy rice,” said Son Kuthor.
Toch Tepech, president of the Rice Miller’s Association in Svay Rieng province, said he used to get loans from the RDB for processing milled rice for export.
But the size of the loan they can offer is small and not suitable for his needs.
“The lack of capital is extreme,” he said. “I have the market for export, I have the rice mill but what I lack is the capital to buy the paddy rice in a timely manner. When the rice price drops, it’s a very good time for us to buy,” he added.
He said the collection of paddy rice at the right time would lead to good profits from the resulting exports as well as generating jobs and curbing the export of paddy rice to neighbouring countries.
As of the end of October, Cambodian milled rice exports saw a tiny growth of 0.51 per cent.
In the first 10 months of this year, Cambodia exported 148,200 tonnes compared to 147,435 tonnes over the same period last year, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Cambodia expected to export at least 250,000 tonnes of milled rice by the end of this year, equal to 25 per cent of the government’s goal of exporting one million tonnes of milled rice by 2015, the government’s policy paper said.
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