The Ministry of Commerce and bank officials announced yesterday that they will hold a meeting next month aimed at better facilitating rice millers’ access to credit.
The move is part of the Asian Development Bank’s Climate Resilient Rice Commercialization Sector Development program to address food security and rice commercialisation, funded with a US$55,000 Asian Development Fund loan.
Mao Thora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, told the Post millers will see additional loans if they can demonstrate a sufficient level of stocked paddy rice.
Now, rice millers who invest in building higher-capacity mills find their funds run short when it comes time to buy paddy rice.
According to Thora, outside of the ADB, only Canadia Bank has agreed to participate in the program. “If we have a little capital from each bank, we can do it,” he said.
Private sector representatives said millers would have to increase their capacity in order to meet Prime Minister Hun Sen’s goal of exporting one million tones of rice by 2015.
Nou Netra, director of the Small and Medium Enterprise department at Canadia Bank, said the initiative would address problems rice millers face attempting to get loans. Bank personnels’ knowledge about the sectors’ value chain and risks was limited, he added.
ADB plans to strengthen the rice value chain, improve legal and regulatory framework in agricultural land management, and enhance paddy production through improved irrigation efficiency as well as establishing post-harvesting facilities and crop insurance pilots.