Phnom Penh Post, 01 June 2012
Cambodian microfinance institution PRASAC says it is bolstering its green credentials by increasing loans for eco-friendly farming methods in the kingdom.
Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) General Assembly in Siem Reap, Sim Senacheert, President and CEO of PRASAC, said the institution is “committed to providing and developing more green financing to the rural people for their livelihood improvement and environmental protection in particular”.
PRASAC, which was formed in 1995, provides microfinance services to the rural population of Cambodia. Sim said that PRASAC had a vital role to play in maintaining the environment and added that “it is important to improve the resilience of the rural people with the rural financing”.
PRASAC said it is particularly proud of its recent initiative to provide a biodigester financing program. Biodigestion is the process of managing biodegradable waste and turning it into energy.
By the end of April, PRASAC said it had provided biodigester loans to roughly 5,800 borrowers in 13 provinces, with a loan portfolio of more than $3 million.
The National Bank of Cambodia and the Cambodia Microfinance Association organised the Siem Reap gathering, which was presided over by Chea Chanto, the Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia.
The objective of the event is to strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers through rural finance innovations. There were around 250 participants including local and international bankers and microfinanciers.
PRASAC currently is the largest microfinance institution in Cambodia, and provides loans and savings to clients in 24 provinces and cities.
As of April, PRASAC said it has provided loans to 117,000 borrowers with more than $158 million of loans. It had 48,000 depositors with more than $12 million in savings.