January 27, 2012

Cambodian-U.S. micro-lenders cooperate to improve agriculture finance


PHNOM PENH, Jan. 27 -- The United States government is partnering with a Cambodian microfinance institution, the Thaneakea Phum, to facilitate 2.71 million U.S. dollars in loans over the next four years to underserved Cambodian farmers and micro, small, and medium agricultural enterprises, according to a U.S. Embassy's press released on Friday.

The lending will focus on those farmers in the provinces of Battambang, Kampong Thom, Pursat, and Siem Reap, it said.

"The American people are proud to encourage private-sector lending in Cambodia to support rural agriculture. This is vital to fostering economic development and strengthening rural livelihoods in the country," said Jeff Daigle, Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh.

This new collaboration will help the Thaneakea Phum issue loans that are larger in size and with longer repayment schedules.

"Strengthening the ability of domestic microfinance institutions to lend to underserved populations will enable farmers and owners of smaller agricultural enterprises to improve their lives, reduce poverty, and spur rural regional growth," said the press release.

Michael Spingler, Chairman of the Board of Thaneakea Phum, said that the Thaneakea Phum focused its loans on agriculture because the institution believes that the future of Cambodia's economy lies in agriculture and agro-related products and services.

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