BB fixes agri credit to Tk 24,124 cr

The agricultural credit disbursement target has been fixed at Tk 24,124 crore for the commercial banks by Bangladesh Bank (BB) for the fiscal year 2019-20, BB officials said. Bangladesh Bank has announced the annual Agricultural and Rural Credit Policy and Program for the financial year 2019-2020 at a press briefing on Tuesday at BB premises in Dhaka to keep in mind the prime objectives of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Deputy Governor of BB, SM Moniruzzaman presented the main points of the credit scheme in the press briefing. High officials of Bangladesh Bank and journalists from different media were present during the press conference. The agricultural credit disbursement target is approximately 10.66 percent higher for the fiscal year 2019-20 than that of the previous year.

Considering the increased demand for agricultural and rural credit, disbursement target for the state owned and specialized commercial banks is fixed at Tk 10,375 crore and for the private and foreign commercial banks it is fixed at Tk 13,749.00 crore. The scheduled commercial banks have disbursed Tk 23,616.25 crore during the 2018-19 fiscal year which is approximately 108.33 percent of the affixed target.

In the previous year agricultural and rural credit has been disbursed among 38,83,424 people in total out of which the number of women borrower was 16,01,856 who have received Tk 7,190.55 crore as credit. In the previous year 29,89,237 small and marginal farmers have received around Tk 16,322.87 crore from different banks.

Additionally, Tk 31.61 crore was disbursed among 9,950 farmers of char, haor and less developed and remote areas of the country. To ensure food security in the country and to develop a sustainable agricultural credit system, some new concepts have been added to the current agricultural credit policy, BB officials said.

The central bank has given some important new ideas including instruction for banks to increase credit disbursement through own network and agent banking channel by decreasing disbursement through Micro-finance Institutions (MFI) linkage, credit for cashew nut cultivation, credit for rambutan cultivation, credit for potato cultivation in double-bed system.

Instructions are also given to banks to report any crop loan from Tk 01 and above though CIB inquiry is not required for the fresh or renewal loan worth up to Tk 2.50 Lac, increase time duration of loan recovery for commercial seed production, increasing the credit limit per acre for crop cultivation, inclusion of credit norms for dairy farming (milk production, meat production), rearing goat and sheep, inclusion of credit norms for sericulture and implementation of Agricultural and Rural Credit Simplification System on pilot basis.