Coinciding with 'World Food Day', banking major Bank of Baroda (BoB) will commemorate October 16 as 'Baroda Kisan Diwas', celebrating the spirit and vigour of the country’s farming fraternity, a top official said.

This will be part of a unique initiative, Baroda Kisan Pakhwada, being held from October 1-16 across the bank’s 5,518 branches, 3,378 of which are concentrated in the rural and semi-urban areas, Rakesh Bhatia, General Manager (New Delhi Zone), said.

This initiative is expected to augment the government’s efforts to increase the farmer’s income and double it by 2022, he said.

“By engaging more with the farming community during the Pakhwada, we want to increase their knowledge levels on the latest farming trends and improve their awareness on BoB products,” he said.

BoB has as many as 11 products focused on the farming community at friendly terms, and the Pakhwada initiative is aimed at encouraging them to use these products, he said.

He added that BoB’s overall agriculture portfolio had seen robust growth at 8.5 per cent between end-March 2018 and June 30, 2018.

“The agriculture sector is crucial for our country and economy. As many as 58 per cent of rural households are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood,” he said.

Gopal Krishna Agarwal, Director, Bank of Baroda, said government schemes earlier worked on the pull model and now the Modi-led dispensation has turned this into a push model so that more people benefit from these schemes.

BoB will also now use the push model to ensure that all their products for the farming community reach the doorstep of the farmer households, Agarwal, who is also BJP’s National Spokesperson (Economic Affairs), said.

“BoB is focused on using technology to make service delivery efficient across the country and expand outreach. We are working on data analysis to improve banking services,” he said.

Several new products, including financing of warehousing receipts, have been introduced by BoB, Agarwal said. He added that BoB’s agriculture portfolio growth was higher than that of the banking industry.