Specialist Banking and Sustainable Agricultural Development in Rural Areas: A Case Study of the Libyan Agricultural Bank in the Jafara Region




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


Sustainable agricultural development (SAD) has become more important than ever in the wake of the UN sustainable development goals, increasing world population and drastic changes in the world climate. The specialist banks played a crucial role in supporting sustainable agricultural development, especially in developed countries. Despite the Libyan government’s focus on the agricultural sector through the past decade, many of the gains made have been compromised by the continuing civil strife that has engulfed the country since the toppling of the Gaddafi-led government. The pursuit of SAD faces many agricultural challenges such as (lack of water, financial support and training courses). In view of the need to address these challenges, the primary research question is to explore: How to support sustainable agricultural development in the rural area of Jafara in Libya? The Agricultural Bank of Libya is an example of one of the specialist institutions that was established to enhance agricultural development in rural areas by supporting its customers who are predominantly farmers and agricultural workers. The aim of this study is to explore the role of the Agricultural Bank and how it can more effectively support SAD and enhanced economic growth in the Jafara region of Libya. The study adopted a mixed method approach to collect raw data in two stages. In stage one, 83 questionnaires with farmers were used to examine the current state of SAD in the Jafara region. 26 semi-interviews were then carried out to identify the main challenges being faced by farming communities and to discover the agricultural-related perceptions of farmers. In stage two, 13 semi-structured interviews with key individuals in the Banking System and the Ministry of Agriculture to establish how the Bank currently supports, or indeed fails to support, the farming community in the study area. The study argues that the Bank needs to develop its policies and introduce innovations through agricultural and banking initiatives such as the support of cooperatives, microfinance, mobile banking and education and training in cooperation with key agricultural stakeholders and global organisations. The research findings are relevant for the role of the Agricultural Bank and stakeholders in supporting sustainable agricultural development in Jafara region of Libya is crucial. The research shows that there is potential to enhance sustainable agricultural development in the Jafara region. The key contribution to the knowledge is the development a framework for sustainable agricultural development to improve the role of the Agricultural Bank and financial institutions to support farming communities in Jafara region and other rural areas of Libya. The study has given a summary of several recommendations that can help to achieve the desired aim, and directions for any future research in this field are also given.





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