Karachi (Web Desk): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $20 million loans to expand access to credit for agriculture-related borrowers and small businesses.

“Agriculture and small business are critical sectors in Pakistan’s economy that play a significant role in job creation and poverty reduction,” said Ms Christine Engstrom, Director of ADB’s Private Sector Financial Institutions Division.

“ADB’s assistance will help support Pakistan’s Khushhali Microfinance Bank (KMBL)’s goal to improve financial inclusion to these sectors through their extensive expertise and outreach to underserved populations.”

The ADB assistance will help KMBL — Pakistan’s largest microfinance bank — increase the provision of financial services to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from 5,700 today to over 30,000 by 2020. Women are expected to comprise up to 25% of loan recipients.

A separate technical assistance program will support the establishment of an MSME training academy as well as investments in Khushhali Microfinance Bank’s “technology up gradation” program.