The aim of this card model is to bring the small farmers under the credit service through the institutional banking system for agricultural credit and to improve their standard of living by using information and communication technology for savings and credit.
The A-Card model has been jointly initiated with a private commercial bank, one or more private institutions and an FAO Digital Village Center, Agricultural Aggregation Center implemented in Cox’s Bazar region. Commercial banks are disbursing agricultural loans to small farmers at 9% for six months which can be repaid in one or more installments over the term.
Initially, four upazilas of Cox’s Bazar district have been selected to conduct experimental activities of this model for one year.
This is the second pilot program in Bangladesh where banks and private institutions are providing small loans to cooperative farmers. Traditional credit was very difficult for small farmers due to strict regulations of banks but the experimental program will remove that barrier mainly for two reasons-
1. Firstly, the farmer will collect in advance the relevant micro lenders / members of private institutions and other necessary information including confirming the customer identity of the lenders / private institutions.
2. Second, Bank Asia will use their automated loan processing system to process loan applications quickly and efficiently.
A-Card Model at a Glance:
★Formation and training of farmer groups by the project
★ Inclusion of farmers in private institutions
★Identifying equipment vendors and providing training on A-cards
★Tripartite agreement between the project, private institutions and commercial banks
★ Opening of farmers’ bank accounts and obtaining A-cards
★Purchase of agricultural inputs through A-card loan to farmers from implement dealers ★Repayment of farmers’ loans at agent bank booths (6 months at 9% interest)