SBP launches agriculture finance literacy program

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The SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP BSC), on Monday, launched the Agriculture Finance Literacy Program (AFLP) to raise awareness among the farming community regarding available financial schemes and government-driven initiatives. The agriculture finance literacy program was launched through a series of five workshops conducted nationwide in the major cities of Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Peshawar, according to a statement issued here. This flagship initiative has been recommended by the Agricultural Credit Advisory Committee for imparting awareness among the farming community while the AFLP aspires to integrate, over the next five years, 500,000 farmers in the crop sector, livestock, poultry, and fisheries into the financial ecosystem. AFLP stands out as a pioneering effort, as it unites all major stakeholders, including SBP, commercial banks, and federal, and provincial government departments, to engage with farmers collectively, the statement said. AFLP addresses critical facets of agricultural finance, with a primary focus on reaching out to New to new-to-bank farmers (NTBFs) to broaden the pool of borrowers and promote financial inclusion. It also places a dedicated emphasis on reducing gender as well as regional disparities in agricultural finance by ensuring equitable access to financial resources for farmers across the nation. This Program will significantly contribute to Pakistan’s agricultural growth and sustainability by effectively addressing its primary constraint which is financing requirements. In conjunction with the program launch, the Financial Inclusion Support Department of SBP BSC has conducted a series of five workshops in major cities, including Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Peshawar. The key objectives of the workshops were to sensitize bank officials, who will take forward the literacy program at gross root levels; and to bring the provincial departments on board who have a vast network across the country that can be utilized for this campaign. These workshops saw active participation from focal persons representing commercial banks and representatives from Provincial Agriculture Extension departments, Livestock Departments, and Fisheries Departments of these regions. This collaborative endeavor, uniting SBP, SBP BSC, and various stakeholders, underscores the collective commitment to empowering the farming community, advancing financial inclusion, and propelling agricultural growth throughout Pakistan, it concluded.