SME Bank and AgriBee roll out unsecured agricultural loan program

Lim Aun (left), CEO of Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia Plc (SME Bank), and Mak Chamroeun, Chairman of AgriBee (Cambodia) Plc, during Monday’s signing ceremony. SME BANK

The Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia Plc (SME Bank) and AgriBee (Cambodia) Plc, a state-owned company, have entered into a partnership to “upgrade and grow” the agricultural production sector through unsecured, low-cost financing. interest rate.

The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on April 11 to provide finance to agricultural supply chain actors introduced by AgriBee (Cambodia) Plc, with “favorable terms and low value credit” to offer. .

Funding would be made available to companies or individuals who are agricultural input suppliers, traders, processors, wholesalers and retailers.

The funding is reportedly up to $500,000 and aims to “facilitate information sharing on access to finance” for SMEs in Cambodia.

SME Bank CEO Lim Aun said the bank was “very happy” to cooperate with AgriBee to help “support and accelerate the development process” of SMEs in Cambodia, in line with the government’s goal of boosting the economic growth.

He added that this partnership will bring “great value” to companies and businesses that support, deliver and depend on agricultural yields. They will be able to receive financing for working capital or capital investment with favorable terms and “many other credit advantages”, he said.

“Through this huge partnership between financial institutions and target institutions, SME Bank hopes that all SMEs in Cambodia can apply for financing and recover from the Covid-19 crisis, and play a key role in boosting the economic activity and the stimulation of overall economic growth. ”

AgriBee President Mak Chamroeun said that with more than two million households engaged in agriculture, the sector in Cambodia is now seen as a priority, with great potential to help “build and boost” the national and local economies.

In the rice sector alone, more than $900 million is needed for cultivation and around $2 billion is needed for harvesting and processing, he said.

“Through this cooperation, AgriBee will provide additional financial support, focusing on key players such as agri-input depots, farmers, traders and milled rice distribution depots, who are essential players in the production chain to help boost the local economy as well as improve the livelihoods of farmers,” Chamroeun said.

He said the partnership between AgriBee and SME Bank to provide finance to actors in agricultural production – especially SME clusters in the AgriBee production chain – will help strengthen the agricultural sector and take it to a “next level”.

Under the MoU, SMEs in AgriBee’s supply chain will receive low-interest loans of 6% per annum and loans of up to $50,000 without the need to provide guaranteed, he added.

Chamroeun also said there are 11 agricultural cooperatives under Agribee, noting that 2020 agriculture ministry statistics said there were 1,500 across the country, comprising 300,000 households.

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