Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Agriculture needs more loans, irrigation systems, experts say

Agriculture needs more loans, irrigation systems, experts say

Agriculture needs more loans, irrigation systems, experts say

8 rice paddy harvest chivoan

Accessing low-interest loans for rice cultivation is a challenge because the industry in Cambodia is dependant upon rainfall and not irrigation and is thus more risky, experts said last week.  

In a meeting on the private sector development in the rice sector, Lim Heng, vice president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, suggested that the government should supply more irrigation systems for better rice output.

“If we do not have enough water systems and still depend on the rainfall, the risk can be very high,” Lim Heng told participants in the meeting. “Therefore financial institutions will be hesitant to give us loans as they think it is too risky.”

He added that if farmers had enough water, crop yields will be better, and the costs of production would be lower.

Irrigation systems in Cambodia are said to be on the rise, but experts in the sector said this is not reflected in day-to-day practices.

Lim Kean Hor, Cambodia’s Minister of Water Resources and Metrology, said in January that the irrigation systems cover a total area of 1.4 million hectares, about 63 per cent of the country’s cultivable areas.

However, Dr Yang Saing Koma, president of CEDAC, a local agricultural organisation, said that although irrigation systems in the country utilise a total of more than 2,000 canals, only about 10 per cent can be used practically.

“Most canals can be used only within a short period or when the water begins to recede,” he told the Post yesterday. “The amount of canal water used regularly over the course of a year is very little.”

Experts have long said that the shortage of loan activity in Cambodian agriculture hinders the sector’s development.

Even if loans in the agricultural sector are rising among major financial institutions, experts say it does not answer  the real demand in the market.

Acleda Bank, Cambodia’s largest domestically owned bank, has given $254 million in agricultural loans, representing about 19 per cent of total lending.

Research over the past two years conducted by Srey Chanthy, an independent agricultural analyst, shows that at least $1 billion per year is needed by farmers to strengthen production.

“The supply of loans to the agriculture sector is still small, compared with the large demand in the market,” Srey Chanthy said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia