Mawlamyine, May (21)

The indebted farmers are finding it difficult to grow rainfed rice because of the junta restriction that the Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank will only give loans to those who have no outstanding debt, rice farmers told Than Lwin Times.

The farmers are having difficulty growing rainfed rice after the military coup due to a more than threefold increase in the price of agricultural inputs, the high cost of cultivation, and the soaring general prices.

Farmers, on the other hand, were unable to repay their debts to the bank due to low rice yields caused by the inability to apply agricultural inputs such as fertilizer last season, as well as the risk of unfavorable weather and pests and diseases.

“When rice farmers are encountering difficulties, and do not receive loan from the military council, some farmers will be unable to continue cultivating, and others will have to borrow money from other sources to run their businesses,” a farmer said.

In addition, indebted farmers need to reduce the acreage they can cultivate, and if farmers cannot invest much in agriculture, the yield of rice production may decrease significantly, the farmers say.

A rice farmer explained, “Due to the high cost of labor and agricultural inputs in rice cultivation, only a few acres of land can be cultivated, so the yield is low and the debt fails to be paid back, and some families have enough to feed their families but are in debt”.

In addition, the military council’s bank only provides 150,000 kyats per acre for agricultural loans, which is not enough due to the current high cost of inputs, and some farmers have to borrow more from other sources.

On the other hand, the Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank under the military council said that the new loans will be given to farmers only after they have repaid their old debts, and other short- and medium-year loans will be available.

Furthermore, the agricultural loan for this rainy season will be given only to those who have paid the interest and principle of the previous loan, and the interest rate will be set at 5% per year beginning on May 18.

According to the junta’s Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank, a loan of K 30.453 billion has been allocated for growing rainfed rice on more than 203,000 acres in Mon State.

News-Than Lwin Times

Photo- MOI

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