Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Farm credit disbursements recorded a 15.78 per cent growth during the first 10 months of this fiscal, thanks to Bangladesh Bank’s persistent plea for increased bank lending to farmers.

Eight state-owned banks and financial institutions (FIs) along with local and foreign private commercial banks disbursed BDT 89.493 billion as farm credit during July-April period of fiscal 2009-10 (FY10) against BDT 77.290 billion during the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.

During the period, the banks and FIs lent BDT 67.867 billion compared to BDT 58.243 billion of the same period of the previous fiscal, while the private commercial banks and foreign commercial banks released BDT 21.625 billion to farmers as against BDT 19.047 billion of the previous fiscal.

The banks and FIs are: Sonali Bank Limited, Janata Bank Limited, Agrani Bank Limited, Rupali Bank Limited, Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB), Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB), Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) and Bangladesh Samobaya Bank Limited (BSBL).

The banks and FIs achieved 77.74 percent of their annual target, which has been fixed at BDT 115.12 billion, during the period under review, compared to 82.41 percent during the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

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 officials said.

“We’ve asked the banks and FIs for taking effective measures to achieve the farm credit disbursement target by the end of this fiscal,” a senior official of the central bank told the FE Saturday.

He also said the banks and FIs will have to add the un-disbursed amount, if any, to the new projected fund before setting the target for 2010-11.

“So, they should utilize all the scopes for investment in the agriculture sector to achieve their disbursement target for the current fiscal,” the official noted.

The central bank has asked the commercial banks to submit their individual agriculture credit target for 2010-11 by June 10 reflecting 5-10 percent growth over the ongoing fiscal year.

He also said the BB has expedited its efforts through strengthening monitoring and supervision on farm credit disbursements across the country using mobile phones.

On the other hand, the recovery of farm loans rose to BDT 82.262 billion during the period under review from BDT 66.664 billion during the same period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-06June10-12:21 am (BST)