The Ministry of Cooperatives has unveiled a plan to allocate K50 billion (about US$51.8 million) to support micro-finance activities in the agricultural sector during the monsoon season at a monthly interest rate of 1.5 percent, down from 2.5 percent.

The plan was unveiled by the Minister of Cooperatives, U Kyaw Hsan, at a ceremony held at Yangon’s Thuwanna Indoor Stadium on May 19 to mark an initial allocation of K320 million to 330 cooperative societies.

U Kyaw Hsan said the K50 billion would be funded by a recent allocation to the ministry of K96.6 billion (about $100 million), which had been made possible by a K676 billion loan from China announced by President U Thein Sein last December.

“The reduced interest rate is possible because the interest rate on the Chinese loan stands at only 4.5% a year,” U Kyaw Hsan said.

Since October 2012, the ministry has provided K145 billion ($150 million) in loans at a monthly interest rate of 2.5 percent.