Who will take care of poor farmers?


The rich gets richer,  the poor battles harder… the jobs that does not pay well, but is essential – everyone needs to eat! My heart goes out to all the poor farmers back home – they work hard, sell their best harvest keep the worst for themselves, and do anything just to survive…



State-owned bank’s equitization next year without a replacement likely to hit borrowing farmers badly

The Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) has, for some time now, been very supportive of farmers. Its equitization, planned for next year, will be a body blow for them if no other financial institution takes its place, the head of one of the bank’s branches says.

He brings up the point after expressing indignation over a report about two foreigners choosing a wife from a lineup of 65 girls from the Mekong Delta.

Poverty forced the girls to subject themselves to that, the outraged 20-year Agribank veteran says. “Despite living in the country’s granary, most farmers in the Delta are too poor. That’s why some of them swallow their pride and queue up to be ‘shopped’ by foreigners,” he says. Low and unsustainable farm incomes have driven many young people into abandoning their lands to find work in big cities. There they take low-paid, unskilled jobs that barely help make ends meet. Many young rural women are willing to consider marrying any foreigner in hope of a better life.

He says if Agribank sticks to its plan to privatize in 2008, farmers’ lives will become even worse.

The bank has loaned to 85 percent of the country’s farmers and current regulations allow for rescheduling them if poor people default on payment.

He says this provision will almost certainly be enacted post-equitization, with the bank then prioritizing profits and business effectiveness.

He has not heard of any plan to set up an institution to replace the bank that would continue to support impoverished farmers.

The bank’s equitization is eventually unavoidable if it is to adapt to the market economy, but abruptly cutting off support will doom farmers, he says.

An appropriate roadmap to phase out this support for farmers and help them stand on their own feet is absolutely imperative, he says.

By Hoang Phuong


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