Terms announced on rice lending package
The government-owned bank charged with issuing $27 million in emergency loans to rice millers as part of an initiative aimed at propping up the struggling rice industry announced the terms of the credit lines on September 19, and said it would ensure that the funds were used appropriately. Kao Thach, CEO of the Rural Development Bank, said the government had already transferred the funds to the bank, which will be disbursed to qualified rice millers so that they can purchase rice paddy from farmers. He said the lending aims at stabilising the market price of paddy rice, which dropped precipitously from $240 per tonne to $192 per tonne over the past month. According to Thach, millers would be offered loans at 8 percent annual interest on the condition that they purchase rice paddy from farmers for no less than $218 per tonne – a price that ensures farmers make a profit on their crop.