Stored Rice Released to Market; Millers To Seek Gov’t Loans

Cambodian rice millers are re­leasing their remaining stock of paddy rice into the market and are planning to re­quest government loans to allow them to double their purchase of rice stocks during the 2008-2009 harvest, Cambodia Rice Mil­lers Association President Phuo Puy said Monday.

The 50,000 tons had been kept stored until now by the rice mil­lers in order to ensure Cam­bodia’s food security, Phuo Puy said. He added that the millers ex­pected to sell their stocks by Nov­e­mber in order to be able to purchase new rice during the coming harvest.

“We observe that Cambodia now has enough rice to serve the do­mestic market, so we don’t worry about this,” Phuo Puy said by telephone. “There is enough supply to export rice,” he added.

The Cambodia Rice Millers As­sociation also plans to request $70 million to $100 million in loans from the government in order to double the amount of stored rice in Cambodia next year to 800,000 tons of paddy rice, Phuo Puy said.

He added that for the 2007-2008 harvest, the rice millers had receiv­ed $14 million in government loans.

Rice millers have already sold 350,000 tons of paddy rice in 2008 on the domestic and international markets, Phuo Puy said.

Minister of Agriculture Chan Sarun said he supported the plans to increase the amount of rice stor­ed by rice millers, but he added that the government had yet to see any re­quest for loans.

The amount the rice millers want to borrow from the Ministry of Fi­nance and the Rural Devel­opment Bank should be bigger, Chan Sa­run added, as rice production is ex­pected to rise from 6.4 million tons of unmilled rice last harvest to about 7 million tons this year.




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