Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC)
In 1966 Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has been established according to Bank for Agricultural Cooperatives. Its objectives are to provide financial assistance to farmers, farmer associations and agricultural cooperatives which conduct agriculture and other related-agriculture business. Mr. Chamnian Saranaga, BAAC’s first President exerted great efforts in laying the solid foundation of BAAC’s operation and pioneered many development areas to secure and sustain equitable growth up to the present time. He also laid good governance principles known as BAAC’s ethics in order to enable all level of BAAC’s staff to perform their jobs efficiently without conflict of interest among stakeholders especially client farmers. Transformation to Rural Development Bank First Decade (1966 – 1976) Focusing on reducing informal loan : In the first decade BAAC emphasized on extending short-term and medium-term loan to farmers on timely fashion and covered more geographic areas as much as possible in order to reduce existing informal lending being offered at high interest rates. Financial innovation especially Joint Liability Group had been utilized as collateral for getting loan from BAAC in order to enable farmers who had no land or other asset to be mortgaged to borrow from BAAC. Second Decade (1977 – 1986) Providing more financial products : In order to expedite and streamline BAAC’s financial services, cash credit line had been offered to client farmers. Moreover BAAC also collaborated with other government and private sectors to provide farmers and communities with quality farm input, agriculture infrastructure and also marketing linkage. For example central markets had been established in major cities in crucial province and paddy pledging scheme had been launched to defer agricultural produce selling in order to stabilize farm price. Third Decade (1987 – 1996) Strengthening and enhancement initiatives : Financial inclusion had been played an important role. BAAC expanded more BAAC’s financial assistance coverage by offering financial services to small scale farmers and the poor who normally never be granted to gain access to financial services from financial institutions. Moreover BAAC developed exceptional criterion for providing loan for those who were in need. Regarding the fact that individual farmers were always at a serious disadvantage when selling their agricultural produce, BAAC, in collaboration with the Cooperative Promotion Department, took the initiative to help farmers establish Agricultural Marketing Cooperatives (AMCs) in order to gain more bargaining power by the collective purchasing of farm inputs and equipment and selling of agricultural produce. In order to offer better services BAAC initiated service-mind culture within BAAC’s staff. Fourth Decade (1997 to 2006) Embarking on Sufficiency Economy and modernization : BAAC’s response to financial competitiveness resulted in major changes to its roles and operational strategies resulting in amendment to its BAAC-law in order to extend its business function so that BAAC could provide more financial assistance to other related agricultural careers such as non-farm business. Additionally, the philosophy of Sufficiency Economy was adopted by the bank, its employees and customers leading to strengthened communities and improvement of services provided by bank employees to the customers. Through the project, BAAC instituted the “Concept of Truth of Life” based on the Philosophy Sufficiency Economy and provided farmers with knowledge of how to do household accounting and encouraged them to form community groups. Moreover Islamic Bank Fund had been established at selected BAAC’s branches to provide financial services to Islamic people. Fifth Decade (2007 – Present) Uplifting standard of living and extending services coverage : With commitment to rural development BAAC has been employing Sufficiency Economy practices into its agenda. For example uplifting standard of living of small scale farmers. Additionally BAAC also develop new financial services and expand its financial assistance to cover more beneficiaries such as individual, village fund, communities, and other relevant agencies including agricultural cooperatives. Moreover Sufficiency Economy Philosophy has also been induced to communities to develop communities’ self-immunity. In addition BAAC also implant a campaign “Do your best with your customer” to ensure that customer satisfaction has been achieved. Code of Conduct and Organization’s Culture have been strengthen within organization so that BAAC’s commitments to upgrading farmers’ standard of living are achieved which bring communities prosperity in sustainable manner ultimately. Objective of BAAC To provide financial assistance to individual farmers, farmer associations, and agricultural cooperatives that do their business in agricultural related and non-agricultural related activities as well. To provide needed knowledge and technology to farmers and their families in order to uplifting their standard of living. To collaborate with other relevant agencies both government and private sectors in order to support their business and agricultural related activities so that they can earn more income and bring them better standard of living ultimately.