Lộc Trời pays rice farmers after delay, apologises

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 14:22

Bags of Lộc Trời-branded rice are loaded onto a ship for export. The company has exported nearly 100,000 tonnes of rice for $63 million this year. — Photo courtesy of Lộc Trời

Agricultural services and food conglomerate Lộc Trời Group Joint Stock Company announced on Tuesday that it had completed payments for the 2023-24 winter-spring rice crop to farmers in the Mekong Delta after a delay of more than one month.

A company representative claimed it had planned to borrow from banks to pay the farmers in time.

By mid-April, it had purchased over 300,000 tonnes of the grain for VNĐ2.5 trillion (US$98.1 million), but only paid farmers VNĐ2 trillion ($78.4 million) despite arranging for cash from partners and accepting low prices for dry rice it sold to pay for rice purchases from farmers, he said.

On May 20 the company borrowed from Tiên Phong Bank to pay the remaining amount, he added.

In a press release, Huỳnh Văn Thòn, the company’s chairman, said he, on behalf of more than 3,000 employees, offered "the sincerest apologies to farmers."

The company also said that it is completing procedures for a loan of $90 million from the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, and negotiating with domestic and foreign banks for medium- and long-term financing and short-term capital flows to minimise “bottlenecks" in future.

As of May 14, Lộc Trời has exported nearly 100,000 tonnes of rice for nearly $63 million, it said. — VNS

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