INTRODUCTION: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is the newest of the United Nations specialised agencies.
GV & CU Pakistan village with villagers lined up on roadside (2 shots)
SV Motor-cycle credit officers arrives and shakes hands with village elder
SV & CU Credit officer advises villager on the equality of his produce (3 shots)
SV PAN FROM Motor-cycle to another officer advising another farmer (2 shots)
GV Paddy field
SV Wheat being harvested
CU Sugar cane being cut
SV Sugar cane being carried by bullocks
SV & CU Cane being ground by bullock power on rotary grinder (3 shots)
CU Liquid sugar being stirred
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is the newest of the United Nations specialised agencies. It was founded four years ago to finance the development of food production, particularly in the poorer countries. One of its most promising schemes is already showing results in Pakistan. The key figure in the scheme is the banker on a motor-cycle.
SYNOPSIS: IFAD stresses the importance of reaching small farmers - people who do not usually have access to banks. It works through the Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan, which sends mobile credit officers to the villages to meet the farmers, assess their needs and often complete the formalities on the spot. They are well-trained young men, who must have the technical knowledge to advise the farmers on how to improve their production, as well as financial expertise.
A rice grower may need a pair of bullocks; a wheat grower may want seed or fertilisers or a tractor. Sometimes a loan is made to a village or a prosperous farmer to buy machinery and hire it out to the smaller farmers.
Loan worth 25-million dollars were made in the past year. At present there are 134 credit officers - bankers on motor-cycles - and they ride hundreds of kilometres everyday. They scheme is already reaching 2,400 villages, and affecting the lives of 15,000 farming families throughout Pakistan. But IFAD are hoping to increase these figures tenfold in the next three years.