ASA/WISHH’s Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade-(CAST) Cambodia project subcontractor, World Vision, is supporting more financing for Cambodian aquaculture through a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with AMK Microfinance. ASA/WISHH representatives joined World Vision Operation Director Vireak Leng and AMK CEO Borann Kea as they signed the MOU during a February 8 news conference at World Vision’s office in Phnom Penh.
The CAST/World Vision/AMK partnership makes it easier for Cambodian fish farmers and related aquaculture businesses to access loans at reasonable interest rates and reduces requirements for collateral. Founded by an Irish non-governmental organization, AMK is a leading microfinance institution with approximately $6oo million in assets. AMK provides a variety of financial products and services including loans, deposits, money transfers and micro insurance policies for health and accidents, bill payment services, payrolls, mobile banking, and more.
AMK CEO Borann Kea said AMK partnered up with World Vision/CAST to enhance the aquaculture sector in Cambodia and provide loans to value chain entrepreneurs for their business growth. He continues, “AMK doesn’t have any restrictive guidelines or limited numbers of farmers to provide the loan to; if CAST has 600 beneficiaries then AMK has enough capacity to provide the loan to all the 600 beneficiaries.”
To date, World Vision/CAST is collaborating with two microfinance institutions – Chamroeun Microfinance and now AMK Microfinance — to improve access to finance for Cambodian farmers, processors, sellers, wholesalers, distributors, and others.
For the next step, World Vision/CAST and AMK will work closely to develop specific products and guidelines according to the beneficiaries’ needs. The financial program is another example of how CAST is complementing the Royal government of Cambodia’s strategies, including for COVID-19 economic recovery.
CAST is a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded Food for Progress project that accelerates production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market and develops a lasting aquaculture industry. World Vision executes CAST’s financial services programs.