HA NOI -- The Prime Minister has asked State commercial banks to reduce interest rates on loans for farmers in the livestock and aquaculture sector while also giving them more time to pay back debts.
Banks have been called on to give struggling farmers in the sector up to 24 months to repay their debts in a bid to help businesses overcome a difficult period.
The banks are also asked to continue offering loans with an interest rate of 11 per cent, the lowest market interest rate at present, to help farmers invest in the raising, slaughtering and processing of cattle, poultry and tra fish.
The moves are part of the Government's measures to help farmers and agricultural enterprises to cope with difficulties such as outbreaks of disease, falling prices, lower demand and capital shortages.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first half of this year, livestock prices continued to drop and hit the lowest point for the last two years.
Pork prices have fallen by 20 per cent from VND53,000-54,000 (US$2.5) in January to VND42,000-43,000 ($2) in June, resulting in losses of at least VND6,000 -8,000 ($0.28- 0.38) per kilo for farmers.
Falling demand from major tra fish importers such as the US and EU has also hit domestic producers, with the Prime Minister asking relevant ministries and associations to seek new markets for these products. -- VNS