Bangladesh Bank has announced annual agricultural and rural credit policy and program by setting a target of distribution of Tk 35000 crore for farmers in the current financial year to increase agricultural production through credit provision. The loan disbursement target for this fiscal year is 13.60 percent higher than the Tk 30,811 crore of the just ended fiscal year 2022-23. Bangladesh Bank has directed to bring accountability to branches/officers who fail to disburse loans under the new policy.

Deputy Governor AKM Sajedur Rahman Khan announced the agricultural and rural credit policies and programs at the Bangladesh Bank conference room on Sunday.

At that time, senior officials of Bangladesh Bank, managing directors/chief executive officers of various banks, officials of the agricultural credit department were present.

Considering the growing demand for agricultural and rural loans, a target of Tk 12,300 crore for state-owned commercial and specialized banks and Tk 22,970 crore for private and foreign commercial banks has been set for agricultural and rural loan distribution in the current financial year. 

The maximum loan limit for income-generating activities in rural areas is five lakh rupees. In the last financial year 2022-23, the bank disbursed agricultural and rural loans of Tk 32 thousand 829 crore 89 lakh, which is about 106.55 percent of the target of Tk 30811 crore.

Notable new features of the policy are—increase in loan disbursement rate through own network from 30 percent to 50 percent of the target; Directing disbursement of minimum 13 percent of the target in the fisheries sector and minimum 15 percent of the target in the livestock sector.

Apart from this, the new policy provides guidelines for financing rooftop farming; Instructions for disbursement of credit in venami shrimp, crab and kuchia farming; Addition of loan scheme for cultivation of black rice, avocado fruit and leafy grass under crops/crops and fruit cultivation; Fixing the maximum loan limit for income-generating activities in rural areas at five lakh rupees; New farmers have been instructed to disburse loans on priority basis.

Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank AKM Sajedur Rahman Khan said, in case of failure to achieve the target of increasing loans in agriculture and irrigation machinery sector, branch-wise, month-wise loan distribution of the bank, instructions have been given to bring accountability to the respective branches of the bank through appropriate authorities. In determining the cost of raising various animals in the livestock sector, in addition to own land as well as in establishing/managing farms on leased land, disbursement of loans, recruitment of required manpower at the bank branch level, instructions have been given.

It was informed on the occasion that in the financial year 2022-23, a total of 36,18,545 customers received agricultural and rural loans, of which 18,81,933 women received loans of about Tk 12,752.46 crore through the bank’s own network and MFI linkages.

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