URUMQI, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Financial institutions in Xinjiang have stepped up extending loans to farmers to support spring farming and the rural economy.
The People's Bank of China Urumqi Central Sub-branch re-lent 4.68 billion yuan (698 million U.S. dollars) for spring farming to 37 banks, the branch said.
The bank started re-lending to financial institutions in November last year. It has set up green channels for farmers who need loans and simplified procedures to ensure that credit is in place to help farmers buy equipment as well as seed and fertilizer.
It has also ordered financial institutions to respond effectively to the needs for finance from impoverished families.
Siraili Mamatjam, a villager in the Yokaketam Village in the Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of Ili, received a 10,000 yuan interest-free loan from a local bank.
He expanded his fields this spring and was in need of the money to buy corn seeds, fertilizers and rent equipment, all of which are vital to his farm operations.
By the end of February 2019, the balance of agricultural loans in Xinjiang was 721.04 billion yuan (107 billion dollars), 5.06 billion yuan more than at the beginning of the year.
From early November 2018 to the end of February this year, Xinjiang rural credit cooperatives, a major lender, extended 38.7 billion yuan of loans to farmers, an increase of 3.09 billion yuan year-on-year.
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is a main grain and cotton base. Its cotton output was over 83.8 percent of the national total in 2018.