Credit disbursement by commercial and specialised banks to the agriculture sector increased 38% in the fiscal year ended 30th Jun’ 18. Banks provided PKR 972.6Bn in loans to farmers in fiscal year 2017-18 compared to PKR 704.5Bn in FY17. “The achievement of agri-credit disbursement target was a challenging task in the backdrop of various real-side challenges like water shortage, low production of maize and wheat, volatility in prices of agricultural produce and a high cost of production,” the central bank said in a statement. With the disbursement of fresh loans and retirement of previous loans, the outstanding agricultural credit portfolio stood at PKR 469.4Bn as on June 30, which was 16% higher than PKR 405.8Bn in FY17. Similarly, the agricultural credit outreach expanded to 3.72Mn farmers at the end of June 2018 from 3.27Mn last year, a growth of 13.8%.