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KATHMANDU: Works related to implementing the farmer credit card is in the final phase now.
Nepal Rastra Bank had earlier announced that it would implement this novel card system for the convenience of farmers while purchasing fertilizers, seeds and agricultural equipment, among other goods. The central bank had assigned the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to do the necessary works to launch the card. ADB has said that implementation of the farmer credit card is in the final phase.
As per ADB, the policy to implement the card has already been drafted and other technical works to prepare credit cards and applications have already been completed. Currently, the credit card and app are in the testing phase. If everything goes as planned the credit card will soon be distributed to farmers.
Along with making purchases the software developed to monitor the card will also help farmers to find out their loan status, grants distributed by the government, status of own agricultural produces, availability of agricultural equipment, the market and market price for their produces.
ADB will establish agent offices in various places from where farmers can withdraw money. Farmers can avail the card from all the branch offices of Agricultural Development Bank across the country.
Though ADB has hastened the work to make the credit card available as early as possible the government does not have the exact number of farmers yet. Before distributing the cards the government has to have data on the number of farmers, their status and moreover, farmers also need to be classified, the ADB said. However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has not compiled any such data yet.
According to Navaraj Basnet, president of National Farmer Group Federation, neither the government nor the federation have the exact data of real farmers without which the government’s farmer credit card scheme will be futile.
“The concept of farmer credit card is appreciable but the government must be aware to whom it is distributing the card,” he said, adding, “Is it for small farmers, medium farmers or big investor farmers. The government has to bring a clear policy on it for which we need the exact number and status of farmers.”
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