A stitch in time saves nine. Some work must be done on time. Seasoned farmer Mainul Islam knows it well. It is important to sow seeds, ensure irritation, fertiliser, pesticide and weeding just in right time, according to him. But Islam who lives in Jhenaidah ended up with poor harvest every season as he could not arrange enough money for agricultural materials.
Money lands on his hand after completing harvest — what used to happen to his forefathers also — but to no avail.
BRAC Bank yesterday came to the rescue of such farmers by introducing its first specialised debit card for farmers, Krishak Card.
With this card, farmers can buy seeds, fertiliser, pesticides, agricultural equipments and other materials during farming season. They can repay after the harvest when they sell the crops. They can also withdraw money anytime as per their requirements.
The farmers can also avail revolving loan facility instead of term loan with lower interest rate with the card that also facilitates to avail easy loan ranging from Tk 10,000 to Tk 50,000 at 13 percent interest in line with agricultural finance guidelines of Bangladesh Bank.
The card was launched with formal handover to a group of farmers, including Mainul Islam, at a programme in Bhairaba village under Moheshpur Upazilla in Jhenaidah.
Shykh Seraj, eminent agriculturist and media personality, along with Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director of the bank, handed the cards to farmers at the programme.
“I dreamt of a day when farmers would buy with card. Today is the day of realising the dream. I believe agriculture sector would move forward with the blend of technology with it. This card will help bring lakhs of unbanked mass people into banking system,” said Seraj. With this card, farmers will be able to break away from the vicious circle of loan sharks, he added.
“As a SME bank, BRAC Bank always brings in innovative solutions for unbanked mass. Krishak Card is a part of our mission towards financial inclusion of mass people who are out of banking service. We will expand this service to other parts of the country,” said the bank’s managing director.
-With The Daily Star input