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KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has launched a series of videos in national and regional languages about agriculture financing products and procedures to create awareness among the farming communities across the country, especially in the underserved areas.

According to SBP, these videos will be disseminated through social media and digital platforms of SBP and all agriculture lending banks.

SBP further said lack of awareness among farmers about agriculture financing products and services remains one of the challenges for banks to access rural markets and extend outreach of formal financial services to the farming communities.

Capacity building and awareness creation is, therefore, an important area of focus amongst SBP’s various initiatives for promotion and development of agriculture financing in the country. SBP has been organizing various awareness and capacity building programs for farmers; however, farming communities still lack awareness at the grassroots level to avail and optimally utilize formal financial services.

In order to address this lack of awareness and to broaden the scope of SBP’s campaigns, the potential of digital media is being explored. Rapid penetration of internet and increased usage of smartphones across the country has presented an opportunity to harness digital platforms for disseminating information instead of relying on conventional awareness sessions, which have limited outreach.

The use of digital medium is not only helpful in spreading the message to a wider audience in a timely and cost-effective way, but also enables such messages to have higher rate of comprehension and retention.

The first video in this series covers the overall agriculture financing landscape of the country, SBP’s initiatives and GoP’s schemes, all from a farmer’s perspective. Keeping in view the need for enhancing accessibility of credit in the diverse underserved areas, this video has also been translated into three regional languages apart from Urdu, i.e. Sindhi, Balochi and Pashto.

The next two videos in the series focus on crop and non-crop sector, including information regarding agriculture loan products, and diving deeper into the procedures and documentation required for both segments.

It is expected that these videos will help the farming community to overcome their reluctance in availing credit from banks. Moreover, to augment SBP’s initiative and achieve greater reach, agriculture lending banks will also share these videos on their respective social and digital media channels which will encourage banks to develop similar informative videos on product and financing opportunities to agro-based businesses as well.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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