Fund inflow to the agriculture sector continued as more than 60% of the disbursement target was met in just seven months of the ongoing FY23.

The sharp rise in agro credit disbursement boosted the country’s current efforts for food security, sources at Bangladesh Bank said.

The much-needed fund flow comes at a time when think-tanks are forecasting a looming food crisis globally mainly for a supply chain disarray following the Russia-Ukraine war in lockstep with pandemic shocks.

The government set a target of disbursing farm credit of Tk30,911 crore for FY23, but scheduled banks all together disbursed Tk18,684 crore until January.

The banks’ total disbursement so far is 60.45% of the annual target, according to the latest data of the central bank.

The cumulative disbursement of agricultural credit during July-January 2023 remained 9.55% higher than the actual disbursement of Tk17,055 crore for the same period in FY22.

On the other hand, the total recovery of agro-credit was recorded at Tk18,447 crore during July-January 2023, which was 19.28% higher than last year’s.

In sector-wise credit disbursement during July-January period, the share of crop sub-sector was 47.6% of the total agriculture credit disbursement.

It was followed by livestock and poultry (21.2%), fisheries (12.2%), poverty alleviation (5.9%) and others (13.1%).

According to a BB guideline, banks must invest a minimum of 2.5% of the total lending to farmers, and 30% of the credit be disbursed by the banks themselves.

Recently, the central bank launched a refinancing scheme worth Tk5,000 crore as part of an effort to enhance liquidity support to all 60 commercial banks.

Bangladesh has ranked third globally in rice production with a projected output of 38.4 million tonnes, according to a report of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The South Asian economy also ranked third in terms of freshwater fish and vegetable production in the world.

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