28 October 2009, Dhaka. For the first time in Bangladesh, BRAC has launched a new credit scheme ‘Borga Chashi Unnayan Project' for the sharecroppers of the country who hardly get any loan from the traditional banking system. On Tuesday, 27 October, 2009 Bangladesh Bank governor Dr. Atiur Rahman inaugurated the scheme by distributing the first loans to a group of sharecroppers consisting of 25 at Hosenpur village, in Chandpur district. BRAC Executive Director Dr. Mahabub Hossain and senior officials of regional central banks were also present. Governors and deputy-governors of the central banks of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nepal and other SAARC countries also witnessed the event.
Speaking at the inauguration, Dr. Rahman said, "This scheme would bring a revolutionary change among our farmers. Such an initiative is the first of its kind in Bangladesh."
Dr. Hossain while describing the lending procedure stated, "A sharecropper now can take loans ranging from TK 5,000 to TK 25,000 collateral free at the cost of only 10 percent interest. In the first phase, the farmers will repay 30 percent of the loan through weekly instalments. BRAC will realise the rest 70 percent loan repayment after the two harvest seasons."
Abdul Qadeer Fitrat, governor of Afghanistan Bank said "We're really surprised to see this programme. It's amazing that a landless farmer can cultivate crops by taking loans without a mortgage deal."
During the event, BRAC also distributed BRAC seeds among the farmers. At the end, BRAC's popular theatre group also performed a play named ‘In search of Happiness' depicting a sharecropper's life and how the traditional money lender exploits them.