Laos’ national bank or the Bank of Lao PDR has announced plans to assist farmers and small-scale producers, to help them recover from losses caused by recent flooding. The central bank says it will re-schedule loans owed by farmers who have lost their crops and livestocks, by providing them a one-year extention beyond maturity dates, on payments of both principals and interests.
Laos’ Central Bank Governor Phouphet Khamphounvong says the bank has set aside a budget of 150 billion kips to be made available to affected farmers, adding that 100 billion kips of that budget is earmarked for low-interest loans to farmers for them to use to re-cultivate their crops such as rice and other products. The remaining 50 billion kips will be provided to the trade and services sectors.
However, this amount of money is still modest compared to the great needs for funding of the affected farmers whose farmlands, more than 80,00 0 hectares in all, were damaged by the floods that destroyed parts of the country during last August and September. Thus, in order to render these natural disaster recovery efforts effective and successful, having tangible impacts on the people’s lives, the government calls on the nation’s banks, especially the Agricultural Promotion Bank, to join force by making funds available to farmers at low interest rates.
A report by the Lao national bank indicates that so far this year the bank has already provided more than 184 billion kips in loans to farmers and small-scale product manufacturers. Acting upon the request by the central bank, the Agricultural Promotion Bank says it has allocated at least 120 billion kips for low-interest loans to needed farmers. In addition, it will make available some 80 billion kips for second crops or dry-season rice productions.
Moreover, the government of Laos estimates that it will need more than 300 billion kips to rebuild and repair more than 520 canals, irrigation dams and roads damaged and destroyed by floods in eleven provinces, as measures to help its people to recover from the effects of this disastrous flooding.
Listen to Songrit's report for further details in Lao.