China will take measures to make credit and loans more accessible to farmers in the country's rural areas, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said.
"Farmers in rural areas find it difficult to get loans from the lenders, while the financial institutions including banks face difficulties when extending loans to farmers," said Zang Jingfan, director of CBRC's cooperative finance supervision department.
Zang attributed the problem to a lack of mechanism in the banking and financing system.
The CBRC urged banks nationwide to speed up financial innovations and mechanism reform in a bid to meet diversified demands in the rural areas.
The financial departments should also explore new ways in providing loans so that lenders can avoid or at least transfer credit risk.
Zang underscored the importance of introducing different types of loan-security modes. These should involve individual farm households, major enterprises, financial institutions, insurers and banks.
China had 41 new types of rural financial institutions as of the end of May. This included 28 county- and village-level financial organs, nine capital mutual aid organizations, and four credit companies.
Credit from these new types of rural financial institutions mainly went to farm households and small-sized enterprises in rural areas.
As of May, farm households and small-sized enterprises had received 640 million yuan (US$91 million) and 370 million yuan, respectively, in loans, Zang said.
Zang said financial departments should extend sufficient loans to farmers in the country's western areas, the major grain and oil-bearing production bases, in a bid to ensure food output there.
Major banks, the agricultural development banks in particular, were asked to play the leading role in granting loans, and to take on more social responsibilities.
By March, agriculture-related loans from the financial institutions covered 30.5 percent, or 300 million of the farmers, nationwide. Outstanding loans of the financial sectors hit 1.52 trillion yuan, up 8.4 percent over the end of last year.
(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2008)