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Last modified on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 18:00

Seminar on ‘Tenant Farmer Development Project’ held

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04 April 2013, Dhaka. A seminar on the outcomes of a project undertaken to assist the country’s tenant farmers was held on Thursday (April 4, 2013) at the BRAC Centre Auditorium in the capital.

The ‘Tenant Farmer Development Project’ being implemented since December 2009 is funded by the Bangladesh Bank, gave credit and other supports to the tenant farmers.

The seminar shared the findings of an impact assessment study of the pilot phase of the project. 

The programme was attended by the governor of Bangladesh Bank, Dr. Atiur Rahman, as the Guest of Honour and presided over by the vice-chair person of BRAC, Dr. AMR Chowdhury. 

At the seminar the executive director of BRAC, Dr. Mahabub Hossian, presented a paper titled ‘Access of tenant farmers to credit and extension services’, while senior research fellow of the organisation Narayan C. Das, read another paper styled ‘Impact of credit on productivity of tenant farmers’. 

Dr. Mahabub Hossain in his presentation pointed out that the previous agriculture credit schemes did not see any obvious success to the tenant farmers and that the tenant farmer development program was taken up to address the issue.

Under the program tenant farmers were given credits against minimal interest rate and extension services without any extra charge, he said, adding, ‘fourteen thousand village organisations are currently under the scheme, reaching around three lakh tenant farmers. This success has prompted the disbursement to be raised from 500 crore to 630 crores.’

Such support can free the tenant and marginalized farmers from the moneylenders, Dr. Mahabub said and added, ‘Around 63 per cent of the landless households are now getting loans from NGOs, with 54.8 per cent of the tenant farmers received loans in 2010 compared with 4.5 per cent in 1988.’

Echoing Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Atiur Rahman said, ‘By focusing on the tenant farmers and helping the bottom of the pyramid we will be able to achieve financial inclusion.’

In praise of BRAC’s initiative, he said, ‘When most banks were not ready to organize and handle the share croppers, BRAC came forward to provide loans of which 80 per cent is being used for farming activities.’

BRAC disbursed the credits and managed the funds Bangladesh Bank had allocated under the ‘Tenant Farmer Development Project’.

 

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