Win Nyunt | DMG
23 June, Sittwe 

Agricultural loans during the COVID-19 crisis will be increased by K50,000 (US$35) per farmland acre, and disbursement began in Kyaukphyu, Sittwe and Thandwe townships on June 22, according to U Aye Thein, manager of the Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank in Arakan State. 

The government disbursed loans of K150,000 per acre under cultivation last year, with that number rising to K200,000 with the coronavirus supplemental. 

“Farmers who have outstanding debt will not have new loans disbursed to them,” U Aye Thein told DMG. 

U Aung Tun Tin, a farmer from Thayet Oak village in Myebon Township, said he had not yet heard about the increase to this year’s agricultural loans, but welcomed the news.

“The increase of the loan amount during this crisis is good for farmers. But most farmers here have not repaid their loans from last year,” he said. 

The MADB in Arakan State said it would invite relevant ward and village administrators to inform farmers of the lending boost. 

Farmers in Arakan State received K79.85 billion in monsoon paddy loans in 2019, but had only repaid K11.10 billion as of May 27, 2020, according to figures from the MADB in Arakan State. 

Delinquencies on loans disbursed last year have been blamed on difficult growing, harvesting and market conditions amid conflict in several parts of Arakan State.

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