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Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Its Contribution to Food Security

Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Its Contribution to Food Security




Introduction

Food security refers to the availability, accessibility, and adequacy of food for all individuals at alltimes. It is a complex and multi-dimensional concept that encompasses both physical and economic access to food. Food security is essential for human survival and well-being, as well as for the economic and social development of a country. There are number of reasons why ensuring food security for all is important. The first and most vital reason can be illustrated as it is essential for survival and heading towards prosperity. Serious health consequences such as malnutrition, stunted growth, poor immunity and increased sensitivity to diseases can be faced by human in case of lack of suitable and adequate food.

In addition, food security is essential for the economic and social development of a country. A lack of food can impede economic growth by reducing the productivity and earning potential of individuals. Food insecurity can also exacerbate poverty and social inequality, political instability. Mass migration and displacement can be happened because of food insecurity that certainly disstabilize country’s as well as region’s economical, political and cultural balance.

Introducing the Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB)

Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) is a state-owned specialized bank in Bangladesh that provides financial services to the country’s agricultural sector. The bank’s mission is to promote food security and rural development by providing credit and other financial services to ultimate food producers and rural entrepreneurs those creates value or utility. The BKB plays the most vital role in food production process through financing in purchasing of seeds, fertilizers, and other inputs those are necessary for agriculture production. Such actions of bank surely enable farmers to wipe out usury minded gropus from the society who are taking advantages of capitalizing weak financial condition of farmers. Additionally, BKB has set up a number of microfinance programs to provide small loans to rural entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers who may not have access to traditional banking services.

Food security challenges

High population density is one of the major food security challenges facing Bangladesh. The country’s limited arable land is under pressureto produce enough food to feed its large population. This puts pressure on the existing agricultural land to produce more food, leading to overuse and degradation of the land. This can also lead to increased competition for resources such as water and fertilizer, making it difficult for farmers to produce enough food to feed their familiesand communities. Additionally, the high population
density can also lead to overcrowding and poor living conditions in rural areas, which can further exacerbate food insecurity.
A significant portion of the country’s land is prone to flooding and erosion, making it difficult to grow crops. The country is also characterized by its deltaic topography, which makes much of the land prone to flooding and salinization. Additionally, urbanization and industrialization are leading to the loss of agricultural land, further reducing the amount of land available for food production.
Frequent natural disasters are a major food security challenge in Bangladesh. The country is proneto natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, and droughts, which can disrupt agricultural production and damage infrastructure. The floods and cyclones can damage crops and destroy homes and livelihoods, leaving communities without adequate food and shelter. Drought can also cause crop failures, leading to food shortages. Socio-economic issues such as poverty and landlessness are major food security challenges in Bangladesh. Many households in the country live in poverty, which limits their ability to access nutritious food. These households may not have the resources to purchase enough food or may not have access to markets where they can buy food.

Bangladesh Krishi Bank’s role in promoting food security

Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) plays a critical role in promoting food security in Bangladesh byproviding financial services to the agricultural sector. Some of the ways in which BKB promotes food security include: BKB provides loans to farmers for the purchase of seeds, fertilizers, and other inputs necessary for agricultural production. This helps farmers to increase their productivity and improve their yields,which can lead to greater food security. From the inception of BKB, it is formulating marginal farmer friendly credit policy in every year in order to secure food availability, accessibility for all class of people of the society. The sectors where bank iposes importance in case of proper an adequate distribution of credit and other financial services for securing bulk production of crops and other agriculture products are discussed below,

Crops: BKB provides loans to all class of farmer specially to marginal farmers for producing different crops. All crops loan sanctioned by BKB is security less that means farmer does’t need any collateral security to avail crops loan only hypothecation of crops is required to avail such loan.
Fish: BKB sanctioned fish loan to fisherman as well as fish cultivator according their fish and norms of fish cultivation. In case of fish loan it sanctioned loan up to tk3.00 lac without security, here only primary security is required to sanction of such loan.
Livestock: BKB provide loans to farmerr who are engaed to rear cow, goat, buffalo and other domestic animal. It can sanction up to tk2.00 lac without security to landless farmer to gear up their income.

Poultry: BKB distributes poultry loans to farmers who have a farm of chicken, duck, leyar, koyel and others related in this sector in ease conditions. That approaches of bank obviously fulfill country’s demand in meat sector.
Tea: BKB is the only bank who is entiled to sanction a loan in tea production sector. Tea loan can be categorized into two types, one loan is sanctioned for tea plantation another is for tea development.

Fruits and Vegetables: BKB provide its remarkable portion of agri loan to fruits and vegetable sectors. Such as loan to produce mango, jackfruits, plum and other different kinds of winter and summar vegetables.

Other than these, BKB sanctioned loan in agriculture related activities such as, producing minnow, management of fish reservoir, loan for shrimp production, crab production, setting up feedmill, irrigation, agrimachinaries, SME loans, betal leaf production, lemon cultivation, flower cultivation, loans to farmers who are contracted with BADC ( Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation), Rural transportation sector, salt production, loans to slum dwellers in the name of ghorefera and other micro finance programme.Overall, BKB’s activities can contribute to a more sustainable and equitable society in Bangladesh.
Promoting sustainable agricultural practices
BKB encourages farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices, such as crop rotation,agroforestry, and soil conservation, to improve soil health and increase productivity, ultimately leading to food security. In addition to the above; BKB also provides technical assistance to farmers and rural entrepreneursto help them improve their production and business practices. This can include providing training on best practices for crop management, soil conservation, and livestock management, as well as providing advice on marketing strategies and business management. BKB also works closely with other government agencies and non government organizations to implement food security programs and initiatives. This can include partnering with organizations to provide food assistance to vulnerable households, or working with government agencies to implement disaster risk reduction and management programs.

Conclusion

Bangladesh faces a number of food security challenges, including high population density, limitedarable land, and frequent natural disasters, socio-economic issues such as poverty and landlessness, and climate change. Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) plays a critical role in promoting food security by providing credit and other financial services to farmers, fishers and rural entrepreneurs, as well as providing technical assistance, implementing food security programs and initiatives in partnership with other organizations, promoting agro-based and food processing industries, raising awareness and gathering feedback from the
communities. BKB’s activities can lead to an increase in agricultural productivity, improved access to markets, education, and healthcare for rural communities, and contribute to sustainable and equitable society.

Md Murad Hossain

          Officer

Bangladesh Krishi Bank

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