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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Agricultural finance in Cambodia between urgent needs and high risks. findings from the INEF-BMZ-research project „ways out of poverty, vulnerability and food insecurity“

Frank Bliss

Bliss & Gaesing - Associated Consultants, Germany


Access to agricultural credits is increasingly important even for small farmers. Contrary to most poorer countries for instance in most African countries, the credit market in Cambodia is very well developed in rural areas. Many observers already speak of an excessive market saturation. For some years now, NGOs in particular have been drawing attention to the fact that the considerable competition between banks and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) has led to aggressive loan marketing resulting in a large number of over-indebted households, and that this “promoted” over-indebtedness has led to the sale of assets and even to forced sales of land for the repayment of the loans.

Against this background, which recently has also received attention in the German Bundestag, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) of the University of Duisburg carried out intensive research work amongst about 1,400 households in Cambodia into the need for and handling of credit and its effects on, among other things, land security for poor farmers. One working hypothesis was that in an unknown number of cases the people concerned have lost their land title because they were unable to repay their loans according to the contracts.

The investigations have actually found out that a reasonable percentage of the households with previous or current loans indeed had to sell land in order to be able to repay their loans. The reasons for this situation are complex, the consequences devastating in some cases, but the responsibilities are not always clear. The presentation will give a comprehensive insight into the problems of a credit sector that uses land as collateral and partly exploits this to its own advantage.

Keywords: Agricultural loans, Cambodia, loss of land, over-indebtedness

Contact Address: Frank Bliss, Bliss & Gaesing - Associated Consultants, Sinziger str. 4, D-52424 Remagen, Germany, e-mail: bliss.gaesing@t-online.de

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