Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Agriculture credit disbursement recorded a robust growth of 37.73 per cent in the first four months of the current fiscal following some measures, including relaxation of its rules and regulations, taken by the Bangladesh Bank (BB).

Eight state-owned banks and financial institutions along with the private commercial banks (PCBs) disbursed BDT 25.076 billion as agriculture credit during July-October period of fiscal 2008-09 against BDT 18.207 billion of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.

The loans have been given to eight agro-based sub-sectors like crops, irrigation equipment, livestock, agricultural products marketing, fisheries and poverty alleviation.

The central bank of Bangladesh has already relaxed its credit policy aiming to facilitate disbursement of agriculture loans to sharecroppers and landless farmers across the country, officials said.

Under the new policies, sharecroppers, who are directly engaged in farming, will be entitled to receive agriculture loan.

Besides, the BB made it mandatory for all local and foreign commercial banks on September 29 last to disburse agriculture credit from this fiscal to help ensure food security of Bangladesh.

It has also introduced a ‘Revolving crop credit limit system’ for a three-year term to gear up disbursement of the farm loan.

“We want to ensure credit facilities for each interested farmer across the country without any harassment,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka.

The banks and financial institutions have achieved 26.74 per cent of their annual target, which has been fixed at nearly Tk 94 billion. The amount is 13 per cent higher than the last fiscal, the BB’s data showed.

Meanwhile, a review meeting is scheduled to be held at the central bank on November 26 to review the latest position of farm credit disbursement and supervision across the country.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-19November08-10:58 AM (BST)