SBP lauds banks for achieving 58% target


State Bank of Pakistan Executive Director Syed Samar Hasnain Wednesday appreciated the efforts of banks which have already achieved 58 per cent of annual target of Rs 500 billion for agri-credit disbursements in the first eight months of current fiscal year 2014-15.

He was addressing a five days training of trainers (ToT) on “Agricultural Value Chain Financing” organsied by the SBP in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

The session was attended by around 100 participants largely including senior executives of commercial banks, officials of SBP and FAO.

Hasnain highlighted SBP’s strategy of working closely with the banking and agriculture sectors for meeting the growing demand of agri-credit in the country.

Hasnain also stressed that the banks must explore financing to all sub-sectors of agriculture and use innovative credit methodologies such as value chain financing to reach out to smallholder farmers. Referring to the importance of value chain financing, he said, adding that the SBP had been working to create an ecosystem for supporting such innovative models. He mentioned about SBP’s support to pilots of few banks in financing to value chains of sugarcane, potato, and aqua-culture.

Two international master trainers, Calvin Miller from FAO, and Dr Prasun Das from Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), will be presenting global best practices of various value chain financing models with the training participants.

Nasar Hayat, Assistant Representative at FAO, highlighted the efforts and assistance that FAO had been extending to the government of Pakistan in building and strengthening national agriculture infrastructure in the country. He emphasised on the need of an inclusive and efficient agriculture and food systems. In particular, he shared FAO’s initiatives to support smallholder farmers of Balochistan to improve their yield as well as market access. He also said that this training designed by FAO was an effective tool to improve financial services available to the agricultural value chains.

On this occasion, representatives of Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Khushhali Bank and Engro Foods also shared their experiences of working with the emerging value chains in Pakistan.

In his concluding remarks, Dr Saeed Ahmed, Director of the Agricultural Credit and Microfinance Department of SBP appreciated FAO collaboration with SBP for promoting agricultural value chain financing in Pakistan.