Karandaaz Pakistan, Bank of Punjab join forces to digitise agriculture lending

ISLAMABAD  -  The Bank of Punjab (BOP) and Karandaaz Pakistan have joined forces in a strategic al­liance aimed at revolutionising Pakistan’s agriculture sector under Karandaaz’s inaugural Digital Financing for Agricul­ture (DFA) Challenge 2023. The landmark agreement, inked on April 1, 2024, signals the commencement of pioneer­ing initiative geared towards enhancing digital agriculture loans and fostering financial inclusion nationwide.

The agreement signing, held at the Marriott Hotel Islam­abad, was performed by Zafar Masud, President &CEO of The Bank of Punjab, and Waqas ul Hassan, CEO of Karandaaz Paki­stan. Other notable attendees included, Sharjeel Murtaza, Di­rector DFS Karandaaz, Asif Riaz, Group Head Consumer Bank­ing, Nadeem Khanzada, Senior Joint Director of SBP, and Qasim Javed, representing Techlogix alongside other senior manage­ment of BOP, Karandaaz, agri, and fintech sector.

Zafar Masud, President &CEO of The Bank of Punjab, opined that the collaboration aims to overcome farmers’ financial hurdles. It not only aims to im­prove productivity but also ad­dresses the challenge of loan securitization by offering col­lateral-free financing. By easing out the loan process and lever­aging innovative solutions, such as real-time loan disbursement based on predictive AI assess­ments, the initiative is poised to empower farming community across the country, foster resil­ience and bring prosperity to the marginalized agriculturists. Masud extended gratitude to Karandaaz Pakistan, the State Bank of Pakistan, Techlogix and all other stakeholders for their unwavering support.

Waqas ul Hassan, CEO of Karandaaz Pakistan, expressed his enthusiasm about the collab­oration, stating, “Banks are one of the most suited partners to address farmers’ access-to-cred­it challenges. The collaboration between Karandaaz Pakistan and Bank of Punjab represents a significant opportunity for demonstrating increase in the productivity of the agricultural value chains through digital in­clusion of small farmers.”

Masud highlighted how Karandaaz’s Digital Agricul­ture Finance Challenge 2023 spurred innovation. Utilizing technology, bank will provide digitally processed crops/live­stock /dairy loans aggregating Rs 5 billion approximately. The aim is to enhance financial in­clusion, access to credit, help increase yield, reduce poverty and create employment. This initiative, supported by Rs 50 million grant, shall promote sustainability, innovation and productivity through advi­sory services and digitaliza­tion. Partnering with Techlogix for their Digital Platform and Country’s top AgriTechs for Agronomy scores and advisory, BOP and Karandaazare poised to revolutionize agricultural financing, benefiting farming communities across Pakistan.

The Director of Digital Finan­cial Services (DFS) at Karan­daaz apprised, “Through this partnership with Bank of Pun­jab, Karandaaz aims to estab­lish a comprehensive digital lending platform, featuring a dynamic credit scorecard com­plimented by instant approval, and disbursement mechanisms for timely access to finance. This platform will act as the rails for delivering a range of fi­nancial products currently out of reach for smallholder farm­ers across the country.”

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