The farm credit disbursement is expected to cross the target by the end of this fiscal year (FY) as the central bank has beefed up efforts to make such credit available to the farmers, officials said.
The expectation came after achieving more than 93 per cent of the annual agriculture loan disbursement target of Tk 218 billion by the banks in 11 months to May of the outgoing FY 2018-19.
"We hope the disbursement to exceed the target by the end of this FY," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE on Sunday.
He said some banks, including a leading state-owned commercial bank (SoCB), have taken effective measures to achieve their respective disbursement targets.
Meanwhile, the farm credit disbursement grew by nearly 4.0 per cent in the first 11 months of the FY '19 following continuous persuasion of the bankers by the central bank.
Disbursement of the farm credit rose to Tk 203.36 billion in the July-May of the FY '19 from Tk 196.24 billion in same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank's latest statistics.
Of the Tk 203.36 billion, eight public banks disbursed Tk 97.22 billion, and the remaining Tk 106.13 billion was disbursed by the private commercial banks (PCBs) and foreign commercial banks (FCBs).
The eight state-owned 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).
Echoing the BB's official, Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) Managing Director Md Ali Hossain Prodhania said: "Definitely, the agriculture loan disbursement will cross the target by the end of this fiscal year like the previous years."
The BKB is set to disabuse Tk 60 billion against its original target of Tk 50 billion by the end of FY '19, the senior banker added.
He also said the recovery growth of farm credit is still at a satisfactory level that may enhance further by the end of this FY.
The recovery of overall farm loan grew by more than 6.0 per cent to Tk 206.55 billion during the period under the review from Tk 194.50 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.
On the other hand, non-performing loans (NPLs) in the agriculture sector dropped by more than 10 per cent in the 11 months of this fiscal as the banks strengthened their recovery drives.
The amount of classified farm loans came down to Tk 44.73 billion during the July-May period of the FY '19 from Tk 49.87 billion in the same period of last fiscal.
"We've already intensified our monitoring and supervision to speed up the recovery of loans, particularly the classified ones," Mr. Prodhania said.
The state-owned specialised bank has asked recently its officials concerned to take necessary measures so that fresh loans do not turn into NPLs, according to the MD.
The share of NPLs in the total outstanding loans in the agriculture sector fell to 10.75 cent during the period under review from 12.50 per cent in the same period of the FY '18.
Total outstanding loans in the sector stood at Tk 416.11 billion in the 11 months of FY '19 against Tk 399.07 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.
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