Farmers can receive loans of up to 200 million rials ($7,200 at official exchange rate) within 48 hours of filing their loan request in branches of Bank Keshavarzi (Agriculture Bank), said the bank’s CEO.
Customers have the option of sending their requests online, Morteza Shahidzadeh said at a press conference at the ministry of economic affairs and finance building on Sunday.
Bank Keshavarzi is a state-owned lender specializing in financing the agricultural industry.
Assets of the bank will increase to 80 trillion rials ($2.9 billion) next year, Shahidzadeh said without giving an estimate about the current amount of the assets. “The ability of the bank to provide loans would be raised fivefold, as the assets increase,” he added.
The decision to raise assets is in accordance with Iran’s Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2016-2021), the bill proposed by the government to exit recession and the next year’s budget bill, the CEO stated.
“In line with the ‘resistance economy’ doctrine, envisioned by Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, it is necessary to enhance the role of Bank Keshavarzi,” Shahidzadeh noted.
Six trillion rials ($218 million) given to the bank by the National Development Fund of Iran (NDFI) will be used for the development of agricultural soil and water projects.
The government and parliament are supporting the move to revitalize the agricultural industry.
Additionally, 10 trillion rials ($364 million) have been allocated to dense planting and fish farming, 17 trillion rials ($618 million) to farming livestock and producing red meat, and 3 trillion rials ($109 million) to development projects in distressed areas.
“Agriculture Insurance Fund’s budget is insufficient,” Shahidzadeh said, adding that every year his bank pays twice as much as the fund’s budget in compensations, so that farmers wouldn’t face any problems.
The lender’s insurance fund developed crop production over an area of 29 million hectares in the fiscal year starting March 21, 2001. By the end of the fiscal year, however, the figure is predicted to reach 58 million hectares.
Also, 502 thousand hectares of gardens are expected to be insured this year, up from 92 thousand hectares 13 years ago.
The fund insured 3.9 million livestock in 2001. This has risen to 14 million farm animals for the current year.
The policy holders of the Agriculture Insurance Fund were nearly 484 thousand people in 2001, currently, the number has increased to two million.
Close to 484 trillion rials ($17.6 billion) were paid in compensations 13 years ago, but the figure for the current fiscal year is to reach 9.7 trillion rials ($355 million).