Dynamics of Banks’ Lending Practices to Farmers in India

Sandhu, Navjot (2020) Dynamics of Banks’ Lending Practices to Farmers in India. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. ISSN 1462-6004

NSandhu_JSBED.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (893kB)


Purpose This paper evaluates whether small marginal farmers in India have financial constraints and examines how bank managers make lending decisions.

Design/methodology/approach A survey approach was employed, using semi-structured questionnaires with a sample of 42 banks and 185 farmers from the state of the Punjab in India. The questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were carried out on a one to one basis and in focus groups and their responses were analysed from the supply (banks) and demand (farmers) side regarding access to finance.

Findings The results indicate that the Indian farming sector is a complex and multidimensional one that has a dependency on both the private and public sectors due to its national importance to varying degrees. Financial lending decisions are dependent upon several non-quantifiable factors (culture, caste, family size, education) and relational bank lending practices. Such practices have an adverse impact on bankable loan applications, and this gives rise to moral hazards. Relational banking and recommendations minimise default rates, but this does not minimise information asymmetry. Subjectivity in decision-making persists, which is compounded by underdeveloped financial markets for small farmers, giving rise to financial exclusion and negatively impacting on economic growth. To overcome information asymmetry, banks rely on the qualitative factors and an excessive level of collateral when making lending decisions. The findings provide valuable insight into how banks make lending decisions and evaluate a complex matrix of relationships between farmers and providers of debt finance in a developing economy such as India.

Practical implications- Policymakers nationally and internationally could use the results of this research to develop relevant and targeted policies to promote the agricultural sector through adopting efficient provision of finance for farmers. A significant contribution of this research is to provide a fundamental evaluation of the issues facing farmers in accessing finance in developing countries.

Originality/value This study provides an original empirical insight into a sector of the economy that has implications for food security for a country. The study has relevance for a wide range of stakeholders and policymakers of both developed and emerging economies in the world.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-05-2019-0161
13 August 2020Accepted
21 October 2020Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Relational lending, farmers, SMEs, bank finance, collateral
Subjects: CAH06 - agriculture, food and related studies > CAH06-01 - agriculture, food and related studies > CAH06-01-03 - agriculture
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-07 - finance
CAH19 - language and area studies > CAH19-04 - languages and area studies > CAH19-04-06 - Asian studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Business, Digital Transformation & Entrepreneurship
Depositing User: Navjot Sandhu
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 14:09
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 11:49
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9660

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...