Post Source: The News Correspondent
Friday, August 21, 2009
LAHORE: The Punjab government has constituted a Working Group for Agricultural Credit to facilitate farmers to get credit for agriculture and livestock through a simple procedure.
The group will comprise the senior bankers of the State Bank, Zarai Taraqiati Bank (ltd) and other commercials banks, besides representatives of agriculture, livestock and cooperatives departments.
This was decided in a meeting which was chaired by Punjab Minister for Agriculture Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh and held at the Punjab Agricultural Research Board, Lahore.
The meeting was attended by Punjab Agriculture secretary Arif Nadeem, the Livestock secretary, the Cooperatives secretary, the representatives of State Bank, Faysal Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, Allied Bank, Askari Bank, Prime Bank, National Bank, Soneri Bank and Zari Taraqiati Bank Limited.
The minister underlined the importance of reducing mark up on agricultural loans advanced to small farmers. It was informed that during 2008-09, Rs.233 billion were advanced as agricultural loan against the allocation of Rs.250 billions. The bankers told that the number of borrowers in agricultural sector had increased and small farmers were benefiting from this facility substantially. It was proposed in the meeting that the banks should look into new venues and opportunities to advance loans to the farmers, for example, Tunnel Farming, Solar Energy, Drip / Sprinkler Irrigation System, Modern Livestock Farming, etc. It was also told in the meeting that presently 16,000 acres had been brought under Tunnel Farming whereas Drip / Sprinkler Irrigation System had been installed on 5,000 acres of land. The meeting said farmers should be educated to benefit from the facility of agricultural credit being advanced by ZTBL and other scheduled banks for making profit through value addition in agriculture and modern livestock farming.