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Robust growth takes BoB agri advances beyond Rs500 bn

B R Patel

Bank of Baroda has been offering its assistance to the small and large farmers and it has adopted a target-oriented approach in this in the last FY. In a report, Banking Frontiers says the bank has a network of 1845 branches in rural and 1546 branches in semi-urban areas, which are oriented towards priority sector and agriculture lending. During FY 2019, it opened 22 new rural and semi-urban branches and moved beyond granting simple farm credit to a more diversified rural lending strategy by focusing on new products across rural customer segments like farm mechanization, horticulture loans, warehouse receipt financing, food and agro-processing and adopting a community-based lending model for the small farmers and communities.

B.R. Patel, general manager and chief, co-ordination for agriculture and financial inclusion at the bank, said that farmers with landholding of above 2 hectares are termed as large farmers by the bank and every scheme of the bank has different features based on the product. “For example,” says he, “Kisan Credit Cards are provided to farmers as per the scale of finance for cultivation of short-term and long-term crops. For processing of agriculture produce we have schemes under food and agro processing.”

During FY 2019, the bank issued 229,000 KCCs. Baroda Kisan RuPay Card, an ATM-enabled smartcard, was issued to 1.346 million farmers. To facilitate credit linkages of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), the bank tied up with Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) for providing credit guarantee for collateral free loans and also as a preferred bank for Maharashtra.

The bank’s agriculture advances grew by 14.2% yoy to Rs566.23 billion as on 31 March 2019. The bank achieved all mandatory targets under agriculture, priority sector, small and marginal farmers, micro enterprises, and loans to non-corporate farmers during FY 2019 and earned a net commission of Rs330 million by selling Priority Sector Lending Certificates (PSLC) worth Rs77 billion.

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