Three rice millers were recently selected to become recipients of short-term emergency loans disbursed by the Rural Development Bank (RBD), an initiative that aims to boost their storage capacity during harvest season as well as bolster paddy prices for farmers.
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The loans will be used to build storage facilities such as depots and silos.
Amru Rice Cambodia was awarded one of the loans and will be building silos in Kampong Thom province.
Another recipient for a loan, Khmer Food Group, was chosen to build silos in the provinces of Prey Veng and Takeo, according to a statement from the RDB.
More than 10 companies filed applications to gain access to the loans. The deadline for applications closed on September 22.
Through similar schemes, the government has disbursed more than $30 million in loans that have enabled rice millers to build silos and storage depots throughout the country. Loans are repaid at a five percent interest rate over a period of 10 years.
The first $15 million loan was awarded in April to the Cambodia Rice Bank and will be employed to build storage facilities in Battambang province.
The Cambodia Rice Bank is the kingdom’s first private large-scale rice storage facility aimed at centralising rice paddy harvested in Battambang province.
Song Saran, the CEO of Amru Rice Cambodia, told Khmer Times earlier in the year that through this loan scheme the RDB is helping support the creation of the Cambodian Agriculture Cooperative Cooperation (CCAC) in Kampong Thom province, an organisation that will be used to store, process and export rice.
The CCAC), which is set to be completed in Kampong Thom province by the end of the year, will be the first large-scale farm cooperative venture in Cambodia.
“Products from Preah Vihear and Siem Reap will benefit from this centre,” Mr Saran said.
Hun Lak, the vice-president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), told Khmer Times that some rice millers require more funds than what the RDB offers, forcing many of them to seek financial support from foreign investors.
From January to September this year, Cambodia exported about 420,000 tonnes of milled rice to 60 international markets, an increase of 16 percent compared with the same period last year.
The main markets are China, France and Poland, according to government reports.