Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Farm credit disbursement grew by more than 16 percent during the first half (H1) of the current fiscal year (FY), 2013-14, despite the political uncertainty, officials said on Tuesday.

“We’ve advised the banks to expedite disbursement of their farm credit to meet the growing demand for fresh fund of farmers across the country during the ongoing cropping season,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

He also said the central bank has various initiatives to achieve the farm loan disbursement target by the end of FY 14.

As part of the initiatives, the BB has asked three commercial banks for taking necessary measures to achieve their respective targets, according to the BB official.

All banks disbursed BDT 74.50 billion in the July-December period of FY 14, compared to BDT 64.20 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.

Of BDT 74.50 billion, six state-owned banks disbursed BDT 49.42 billion, and the remaining BDT 25.08 billion was disbursed by the private commercial banks (PCBs) and foreign commercial banks (FCBs).

The banks have achieved more than 51 percent of their annual agricultural loan disbursement target for FY 14, fixed at BDT 145.95 billion.

The recovery of farm loans rose to BDT 83.53 billion in the first six months of FY 14, from BDT 70.91 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.

BBN/SSR/AD-21Jan14-9:30 pm (BST)