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Tajik Bank Says Farmers Need Time To Repay Loans

The Tajik cotton harvest

The Tajik cotton harvest

DUSHANBE -- Tajik's Agroinvestbank has asked the government to again postpone debt repayments for Tajik farmers until the end of the year, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The farmers' loans are currently due by April 1.

The fall in the international price of cotton and in demand for the product has hurt many Tajik farmers.

Jalil Tavakkalov, an Agroinvestbank analyst, told RFE/RL that most farmers will not be able to repay their loans until the end of the year, but if they don't the bank could seize their property.

Bank officials say that last year Agroinvestbank gave credits worth 50 million somonis ($13 million), but farmers repaid only 14 million somonis.

Analyst Rahmatulloh Valiev says that in 2008 the government gave a $180 million credit to farmers and only 30 percent of that was repaid.