Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh on Tuesday announced an agriculture credit policy for fiscal year 2009-2010 (FY10) aiming to ensure food security of the South Asian country.

“We’ve announced the policy considering the rural sector as the main driving force of the national economy to ensure food security of the country,” Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central, Governor Atiur Rahman told reporters while announcing the new policy at the central bank in the capital, Dhaka.

The BB has set a target of BDT 115.12 billion agriculture loan disbursements for this fiscal year, marking 22.74 per cent growth over that of the previous fiscal, the central bank officials said.

Of the total target, BDT 84.53 billion will be disbursed by eight state-owned commercial banks and financial institutions during the fiscal 2009-2010 (FY10).

Besides, 29 private commercial banks will provide BDT 26.00 billion while 10 foreign commercial banks will disburse BDT 4.50 billion to the farmers, according to the announcement.

The loans will be given to different agro-based sub-sectors like crops, irrigation equipment, livestock, marketing of agricultural products, fisheries and poverty alleviation, they added.

“These initiatives will help offset the impact of global recession and make rural economy vibrant,” the central bank chief said, adding that the BB has set the farm loan disbursement target aiming to increase the money supply in the rural areas.

The banks and financial institutions have achieved around 99 percent of their nearly BDT 94 billion annual farm credit disbursement target in the just-concluded fiscal 2008-2009, according to the central bank statistics, released on Tuesday.

“We’ve been able to achieve the target through strengthening monitoring and supervision on farm credit disbursement across the country,” Senior Deputy Governor of the BB Nazrul Huda said, adding that the central bank expects the agricultural credit disbursement target for the FY10 will be achievable through strengthening monitoring.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-15July09-4:17 am (BST)