Peshawar (Bureau report): SBP has launched financial literacy and awareness programmes for farmers at grass root level. Muhammad Imaduddin, Senior Joint Director, Agricultural Credit and Microfinance Department, SBP said that SBP’s strategy to increase agriculture credit outreach includes mainstreaming of agri finance, removing policy and regulatory impediments, capacity building of commercial banks and information dissemination and awareness building campaigns for the farming community.

Highlighting the objective of Farmers Financial Literacy and Awareness Programme, he said that the programme showed the commitment of the State Bank and the banking sector to develop the agriculture sector at grass root level. 

He said the programme is aimed at creating awareness among the farming community about agri financing products and services offered by banks, money management techniques and lending procedures, documentations, etc. Besides, it will also develop capacity of agri field officers of banks in agri financing and synergies the efforts of all stakeholders, including policy makers, executing agencies, service providers and farming community to improve access to agri. credit, he added.

The programme was attended by apart from SBP Senior Joint Director Muhammad

Imaduddin, BOK’s EVP & Group Head Credits Imran Samad, SBP Joint Director Ikramullah Qadri, SBP Chief Manager Rawalpindi Asad Shah, BOK Head Agricultural Credits Gul Kiaz Khan, BOK Head Marketing Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani,BOK Chief Manager Haripur Branch Malik Jehanzeb Khan, Head Agricultural Department University of Haripur Dr. Hakim Khan, Progressive former of Haripur Daud-ur Rehman, members of social community, Bankers and representatives of agricultural extension department and farming community.

The inaugural session was followed by a technical session for the agri Credit staff of banks in which senior officials of SBP and BOK made detailed presentations. The purpose of this technical session was to train the agri. finance officials of banks enabling them to conduct the farmers’ financial literacy programs at their end.

A farmers’ session was also held to educate the farming community about the products and services offered by financial institutions, their rights and duties as customers of financial institutions as well as money management skills to enable them to use their limited financial resources in a more prudent manner.

It may be pointed out that the State Bank of Pakistan in collaboration with SBP BSC and commercial/microfinance banks has launched a country-wide ‘Farmers’ Financial Literacy & Awareness program on Agricultural Financing’ which is being conducted in the selected agri-intensive districts of all the provinces of the country.