The government considers providing fish farmers with special credit facility for cultivation of local fish to boost their production in the country, officials said.
"The present government is trying to increase the production of indigenous species of fish. So, it wants to launch loan programme directly for its farmers. The finance ministry is now working on the issue," an official of Bank and Financial Institutions Division (BFID) told the FE.
Local species of fish are becoming extinct in the country due to different man-made causes, he said, adding that it is urgently needed to protect them.
"BFID has asked Bangladesh Bank (BB) for its opinion on loan facility for cultivation of local fish in ponds. We have already given our opinion in this regard," a BB official said.
The central bank will take necessary initiatives if the government launches a special loan subsidy programme for local fish producers, BB said in its opinion.
The country's scheduled banks are reluctant to provide credit for cultivation of local species of fishes due to less production and less returns. But they are interested in giving loan for cultivation of hybrid species of fishes due to more production. Besides, the loan recovery rate is good, sources concerned said.
The rate of interest is likely to be fixed at 10 per cent. The government will give subsidy to the banks at a 6.0 per cent interest rate. They (banks) will disburse loan to the farmers at a 4.0 per cent rate, according to the BB data.
Local species of fishes include climbing fish, horn fish, catfish, pabda, gulsa, tengra and puti.
State-owned commercial banks (SoBs), private commercial banks (PCBs) and foreign commercial banks (FCBs) are giving the farmers loan for cultivation of pulses, oil seeds, spices, and maize. The farmers are gradually becoming more interested in cultivating spicy crops, availing of easy-term credit facility, a BB official concerned said.
The official said production of different spices in the country has been increasing year-by-year due to various initiatives taken by the government.