The disbursement of farm credit exceeded the target in the outgoing fiscal year (FY) 2018-19, helped by the central bank's efforts.
"We've crossed the agriculture loan disbarment target through strengthening our monitoring and supervision from the very beginning of the last fiscal year," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE on Thursday.
As part of the efforts, the central bank had asked some banks to take effective measures thrice in special meetings to achieve their agriculture loan disbursement targets by the end of FY '19, he noted.
All banks have achieved 108.33 per cent or Tk 236.16 billion of their annual agriculture loan disbursement target, which has been fixed at Tk 218 billion for the outgoing fiscal.
Of the total amount, eight state-owned banks disbursed Tk 112.93 billion and the remaining Tk 123.24 billion was disbursed by private commercial banks (PCBs) and foreign commercial banks (FCBs).
The eight banks are Sonali Bank Limited, Janata Bank Limited, Agrani Bank Limited, Rupali Bank Limited, BASIC Bank Limited, Bangladesh Development Bank Limited (BDBL), Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB).
The disbursement of farm credit grew by more than 10 per cent to Tk 236.16 billion in the FY '19 from Tk 213.93 billion a year before, the BB data showed.
The central bank is now working on announcing the next agriculture and rural credit policy and programme for the new financial year, another BB official said.
"We're finalising the policy keeping 10 per cent loan disbursement growth target for this fiscal," the central banker said.
The next agriculture and rural credit policy and programme is expected to be announced on July 23, he added.
"Recovery of farm credit is at the satisfactory level," Md Ali Hossain Prodhania, managing director of the BKB, said.
The recovery of overall farm loan rose to Tk 237.34 billion in the FY '19 from Tk 215.03 per cent a year ago.
The BKB has already set a higher growth target in agriculture loan disbursement for the FY '20, according to the bank MD.
The leading specialised bank has decided to fix the farm credit disbursement target at Tk 85 billion for this fiscal against Tk 50 billion in FY '19.
"There is no alternative to enhancing the disbursement target to help achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs)," the senior banker said.
In another development, non-performing loans (NPLs) in the agriculture sector shrank by nearly 22 per cent to Tk 44.07 billion in the FY '19 from Tk 56.45 billion from a year ago.
The share of NPLs in the total outstanding loans in the agriculture sector fell to 10.25 cent in the last fiscal from 13.90 per cent the year before.
Total outstanding loans in the sector stood at Tk 429.74 billion in the FY '19 against Tk 406.01 billion in the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.