Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - RDB loans $30M to boost rice purchases

RDB loans $30M to boost rice purchases

A woman harvests her rice crop at a paddy field in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district in 2016.
A woman harvests her rice crop at a paddy field in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district in 2016. Heng Chivoan

RDB loans $30M to boost rice purchases

The government has provided $30 million in loans to rice millers since September to facilitate the purchase of paddy rice, with the head of a state-run bank saying more money was available if necessary.

The loans were issued to 38 rice millers by the state-owned Rural Development Bank (RDB) following September’s rice harvest, and would need to be paid back by April this year, according to RDB’s CEO Kao Thach.

“Demand for loans keeps increasing, however it still has not met what the government has provided,” Thach said. “We still hope the need for loans will increase by next harvest season, as capacity of storage and drying will be ready.”

Over the past two years, the RDB has focused on beefing up millers’ storage and drying capacity to improve processing and enable the staggered purchase of paddy rice, which could raise paddy rice prices and help farmers.

That effort has proved moderately successful, though some farmers have said that other issues, such as lack of access to water and pests, have eaten into any profits that higher prices might have brought.

Rice miller Khmer Food group, which received about $10 million loan from the RDB last year to expand drying and storage facilities, has received about $1 million this season from the RDB to buy paddy rice, according to CEO Kim Savuth.

“The demand of the international rice market has increased, and rice millers saw the opportunity for profit, so they applied for loans to buy the paddy rice,” Savuth said.

He also predicted the demand for loans would increase as the expanded storage and drying facilities came online in the coming months.

The emergency rice fund was launched with $27 million in September 2016, following large protests from rice farmers in Battambang province. The government injected another $23 million in August last year.

Savuth, who is also the vice-president of the Cambodia Rice Federation, said that while the RDB’s actions had provided relief for the rice sector, persistent problems – such as high logistical costs and bloated energy prices – were still threats to the industry.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,