Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Agriculture credit disbursements grew by nearly 24 percent during the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY) 2013-14, as the central bank is continuously persuading the banks to increase lending to farmers.

“The central bank has strengthened our monitoring and supervision aiming to ensure the quality of farm loans,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said, adding that the central bank also wants that credit facilities for each interested farmer are ensured across the country without any harassment.

The scheduled banks together disbursed BDT 41.22 billion in the July-October period of the FY14 compared to BDT 33.28 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.

Of BDT 41.22 billion, six state-owned banks disbursed BDT 25.65 billion and the remaining BDT 15.58 billion was disbursed by the private commercial banks (PCBs) and foreign commercial banks (FCBs) during the period under review, the BB data showed.

The banks have achieved 28.25 percent of their annual agricultural loan disbursement target, which has been fixed at BDT 145.95 billion for the FY 14.

“We’ve taken different initiatives to achieve the farm loan disbursement target by the end of FY14 without considering any excuse of the banks,” the BB official said.

The recovery of farm loans, however, rose to BDT 46.19 billion in the first four months of FY14 from BDT 39.56 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

BBN/SSR/AD-21Nov13-9:46 am (BST)