Farm credit disbursement grew by more than 11 per cent in the first five months of the current fiscal year (FY), 2019-20, as demand for such loan has been picked up due to seasonal effects.
Disbursement of agriculture loan rose to Tk 83.05 billion in the July-November of FY '20 from Tk 74.76 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the Bangladesh Bank's (BB) latest statistics.
Agriculture loan disbursement may increase further in the coming months as the central bank is pursuing bankers continuously for achieving the target of such loan by the end of this fiscal year (FY), 2019-20, according to officials.
As part of the move, the BB is set to meet with both public and private commercial banks this week for reviewing the latest situation on agriculture loan disbursement and recovery performances.
The BB high ups are scheduled to meet with senior officials of private commercial banks (PCBs) at the central bank headquarters in the city on December 24.
On December 30, the central bankers are set to meet with senior officials of eight state-owned banks (SoBs) on same ground, they added.
The SoBs are - Sonali Bank Limited, Janata Bank Limited, Agrani Bank Limited, Rupali Bank Limited, BASIC Bank Limited, Bangladesh Development Bank Limited (BDBL), BKB and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB).
At the meetings, the central bank will ask the bankers for taking effective measures to boost farm credit disbursement for achieving their targets by the end of this fiscal.
"We'll ask the bankers at the meetings to expedite farm credit disbursement to help ensuring food security of the country," a BB senior official told the FE on Friday over phone.
He also said the central bank would advise the bankers to invest more funds in cultivation of pulses, oilseeds, and spices for boosting output of the agriculture products to meet domestic demand.
"It will help reduce dependency on import of such products in the near future," the central banker explained.
Of the Tk 83.05 billion, eight SoBs disbursed Tk 40.46 billion, and the remaining Tk 42.59 billion was disbursed by the PCBs and foreign commercial banks (FCBs).
Meanwhile, all scheduled banks have achieved 34.43 per cent of their FY '20 agricultural loan disbursement target, fixed at Tk 241.24 billion.
"The disbursement of farm credit has already started picking up that would be continued until March 2020," Md. Ali Hossain Prodhania, managing director of Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB), said while explaining the latest trend of agriculture credit disbursement.
The senior banker also expressed hope that BKB will exceed its agriculture loan disbursement target by the end of FY '20.
The specialised public bank had set Tk 55 billion farm loan disbursement target for this fiscal year.
"We're emphasising fresh borrowers along with existing ones aiming to bring more unbanked people into the banking network to help achieving sustainable development goals," Mr. Prodhania said while replying to a query.
He said it will also help reducing inequality in the society.
On the other hand, the aggregate recovery of farm loans, however, rose to Tk 87.53 billion during the period under review from Tk 84.79 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.
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