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Guidelines for livestock loan
Tuesday, August-29-2006

KARACHI (August 29 2006): The State Bank on Monday issued comprehensive guidelines for banks to provide loans to the livestock, which constitutes 47 per cent of the agriculture sector and 11 per cent of the GDP.

The SBP observed that the livestock was not getting its due share from the credit flows towards the agriculture sector, which witnessed substantially high credit flows.

During the year 2005, the agriculture sector fetched credit of Rs108.7 billion, out of which the share of livestock was only Rs6.8 billion or 6.2 per cent of the total disbursements.

The SBP established a committee of experts in August, 2005 to come up with some strategy for increasing share of institutional finance to this neglected sub-sector of agriculture having huge potential for growth.

In light of the recommendations of the expert committee and input from the stakeholders, including banking sector and Minfal, the SBP has framed ‘guidelines for livestock financing’ to facilitate and encourage banks to enhance credit flow to the livestock sector.

The guidelines cover all areas of the livestock financing business, including products development and their review, purpose and objectives of the loan, eligibility of borrowers, delivery channels, and monitoring mechanism, etc.

“Banks may adopt the guidelines in their present form or with some adjustments that suit their organisational needs and market characteristics,” said the SBP guidelines.

“Agriculture is the most important sector of our economy that contributes 23 per cent to the GDP, employs 42 per cent of labour force, accounts for more than 60 per cent of exports and provides raw material to most of the industrial and manufacturing base of the country,” it added.

The banks may consider establishing livestock research and development units at their head Offices to develop livestock financing products and their roll out in the field offices.

The unit could be a part of agriculture and rural finance division of the banks and be responsible for livestock activities like: a) target market analysis, its characteristics, size, trends, growth potential, etc; b) development of financing products, c) developing procedures for product marketing, delivery and monitoring mechanism, follow-up and recovery; d) monitoring growth trends and quality of the portfolio and to develop close liaison with the field force to have feedback from the grass roots level; e) review developments taking place in the livestock sector within the country as well as in other parts of the world.

Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of milk in the world, however, only 2-3 per cent of milk is processed, said the SBP.

Dairy and meat farms constitute a significant portion of the livestock sector. Similarly, the country has great potential to develop meat farms and can have substantial share in the attractive Halal meat market.

“The banks can benefit from the guidelines to tap the sector that promises high returns to the dairy farmers, banks and the economy as a whole,” said the SBP.

Courtesy DAWN

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