August 19, 2016

MADB privatisation will bring more loans to farmers: MRF

Farmers work on a rice field in Bago Region. Photo: Aye Min Soe
Farmers work on a rice field in Bago Region. Photo: Aye Min Soe

THE Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) submitted a recommendation to the Ministry of Commerce for the privatisation of the Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank (MADB) in order to allow for more loans to cover the agricultural expenses of Myanmar farmers.
“The MADB has said it doesn’t currently have sufficient funds to issue loans to farmers. Therefore, we have suggested that the bank be privatised,” said Dr Soe Htun, vice chair of the MRF.
The privatisation of the bank would see many shareholders purchasing shares, allowing for more loans to be issued to farmers.
“If the bank was privatised, farmers would be able to borrow money to cover agricultural expenses, using their Form 7 [land entitlement document] as collateral. The availability of loans from private banks within the country is currently problematic,” said U Soe Kyaw, a farmer from Twante Township.
Farmers have been able to secure loans of K100,000 per acre to cover agricultural expenses. However, a combination of irregular weather fronts and a shortage of farmhands has forced farmers to use costly machinery in their agricultural practices, incurring expenses of between K200,000-300,000 per acre. The MRF has made submissions to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, in addition to the Ministry of Commerce, concerning the need to make loans more available to farmers; the development of the MADB; cooperation with the government and private organisations in the production of agricultural crop seeds; assistance from the government in landscaping farmland; and enacting laws to benefit farmers.—Myitmakha News Agency


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