Recruitment of Agriculture Officers in Banks
The recruitment of agricultural officers is carried out in banks by IBPS through the Specialist Officer (SO) Common Written Examination (CWE) every year. To become eligible for this post, one must have a bachelor degree in agriculture or husbandry or horticulture etc.
Roles of Agriculture Officer in Banks
Agricultural Field Officers are appointed to the bank as Scale 1 officers and the duties of the officers are as follows:
- Promoting Rural Financing: With a strict guideline to maintain the priority sector criteria by the banks, agricultural field officers are given the responsibility of promoting the bank in the rural areas so that the agricultural portfolio of the bank is promoted.
- Disbursal of Agri-Loans: An agricultural field officer is responsible for disbursal of loans to the farmers as well as others involved in the primary sector of the economy.
- Review of Agri-Loans: It is an important aspect of agriculture loans because many a time the loans become non-performing assets due to the inability of farmers to repay the loan. Under these circumstances, the officer has to decide whether to restructure the loan or declare it as a loss asset depending upon the condition of the farmer or the individual who has availed the loan.
- Reporting to the Senior Authority: As agriculture loans come under priority sector, it becomes very important to report regarding these loans to the higher authority on a regular basis since both NABARD and RBI keep strong watch on these loans.
- Coordination with NABARD and RRBs: Since nationalised banks sponsors Regional Rural Banks, it becomes the responsibility of the agricultural field officer to coordinate with the individuals in charge of the banks for a particular area in order to ensure that funds are utilised properly and effectively. On the same lines, NABARD authorities also conduct regular review meetings to take stock of the progress made by banks and as agriculture officer, one has to attend these meetings and explain the position of the branch in implementation of various schemes as well as agriculture loans.
Since it is the job of a specialised officer, the officer is only exposed to rural segment and is only posted in rural areas in the initial years. Hence, career growth is not as good as a generalist Probationary Officer in a bank.
An agriculture field officer oversees the rural segment and ensures that the priority sector guidelines are properly complied with by his or her branch. Later in the career, he or she will be given charge of a region or zone in the capacity of Regional or Zonal Manager for Rural Segment. However, this post carries postings mostly in rural areas.