Members of the Alliance of Rice Producers and Exporters of Cambodia. Photograph supplied
The executive committee of the Alliance of Rice Producers and Exporters of Cambodia, ARPEC, decided earlier this month to set up a commercial arm to help members get financing for a variety of rice-related activities.
According to ARPEC secretary-general Hun Lak and deputy secretary-general David Van, the executive committee of the association agreed to provide advocacy to members on rice issues with government agencies and provide adequate services to members by providing rice bags, facilitating loans from banks to members and broadcasting a weekly news flash related to global rice market prices and trends in the Khmer language.
The ARPEC executive committee also decided to register a commercial entity to pool resources among members to provide guaranteed or collateral loans for in-house financing to members and use the pooled resources to negotiate further loan facilities from other local or foreign commercial banks in order to obtain better interest rates and bigger loans.
It was also decided that a pilot project would be undertaken in the final quarter of 2012, in a joint venture with a Taiwan entity to provide seeds, fertilisers and better farming techniques as well as new harvesting equipment.
“This requires a little bit of time to put in place,” Van says. “Members of ARPEC are like members of any other association. If you ask them to come to endless meetings, and offer nothing in return, after the third or fourth meeting nobody will come, so you have to have something tangible to offer.”
ARPEC has 30 members, and nine provincial millers’ associations.
“ARPEC started small in order to inculcate the spirit of collaboration. Our members know how to work with one another, and we want to help them as much as we can,” Van says.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Alan Becker at [email protected]