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

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway