More than K147 billion agriculture loans will be disbursed to farmers in Mandalay Region to grow monsoon paddy and other crops starting from May 15.
For agriculture loan, interest rate has been reduced to 5% from 7% due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re now still collecting repayments from last year’s loans. For this year, we’ll disburse the funds via the agricultural development banks in the respective townships starting May 15. We’ll also collect the remaining amount of loans even as we issue the new ones,” said Daw Yin Nwae, Manager of Agricultural Development Bank in Mandalay Region.
K92.3 billion which is 62.5% of the loan amount disbursed last year has been collected. Farmers who have not paid off their debts from last year will not qualify for a new loan this year according to the Agricultural Development Bank.
“Farmers usually pay off immediately if they have a good yield of crops. Those who haven’t paid back in full have difficulties doing so as they didn’t have good crop yields or a good price during the harvest season. They will be in even worse shape now as businesses are closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19,” said Ko Kyaw Soe, a farmer from Madaya Township, Mandalay Region.
Total of K163 billion has been set aside for the planting of this year’s monsoon crops and the funds needed is expected to be K147 billion.
Since 2017-18, the Agricultural Development Bank has issued K150, 000 in agriculture loans to farmers for every acre of paddy, K100, 000 per acre of sugarcane, and K50, 000 per acre of oil crops, beans and pulses, cotton, and maize.