The Nation



Agricultural household debt rises beyond income

Household debt in the agricultural sector has risen by 4.8 per cent in the past four years, against the 2.84 per cent increase in income, according to the Office of Agricultural Economics.

The net income of the 5.8 million households increased 2.84 per cent during the 2008/2009 harvest year and the 2011/2012 harvest year. In the period, household income in the South contracted 5.65 per cent, due to continued falls in rubber prices. Other crops like oil palms and fruit witnessed a slight increase in prices.

Income rose the most in the Northeast, at 7.9 per cent, thanks mainly to the higher prices of rice, tapioca and sugar cane. The income rose 4.93 per cent in the North and 4.82 per cent in the Central region.

During the period, assets of agricultural households in the South rose the most, at 9.75 per cent. It also increased by 1.03 per cent in the Northeast. Assets in the North contracted 6.22 per cent while that in the Central region contracted 0.68 per cent.

On household debt, the South witnessed the biggest increase of 8.92 per cent; 8.29 per cent in the North, and 3.97 per cent in the Northeast. Household debt in the Central region contracted 0.14 per cent.

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