An earlier blog post showcased Pakistan’s Fatima Fertilizers for understanding the anxieties faced by farmers and offering a solution. This time around, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) is working toward eradicating one of the biggest drivers of anxiety among farmers here: getting enough money to sow their crops. They generally have to rely on local lenders, known for their unethical practices and unfair terms, and with little
negotiation power, farmers are forced to go along.
NBP’s “Kissan Dost” (Farmer Friend Agriculture Program) offers a solution by providing lower interest rates than local lenders, with gold as collateral. This eliminates the ills of informal borrowing, such as delayed loan distribution and high interest rates. To illustrate this offering, a testimonial spot shows two farmers, one of whom needs to secure funds. The topic of approaching a local lender comes up, and both appear well aware of the trouble surrounding this approach (“If you are talking about that local village lender, then forget it. I ain’t going to be friends with him, he will be at my door the day after he issues me the loan for his payments,” says the farmer seeking a loan). The other farmer clarifies that he’s referring to the “Kissan Dost” program, which helped him out for last year’s harvest with a cash loan and relaxed repayments. The spot then details the benefits of working with NBP over a local lender.
With most farmers only remotely familiar with formal banking and having limited interaction with the institution—typically to pay utility bills—this NBP program can serve as a great first move to capture a huge market amid the throat-cutting competition in this category.