Islamic Finance provides an ideal mechanism to facilitate agricultural, irrigation, livestock, micro and rural financing products to boost the green economy.
Muhammad Zubair Mughal, the Chief Executive Officer, Al-Huda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) addressed the international conference Best Practices in Rural and Agricultural Finance jointly organized by African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) in partnership with the Rwanda Development Bank (BRD), the Ministry of Agriculture, and IFAD in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda last week and was attended more than 300 delegates of 40 countries: “It not only provides a sustainable solution but creates the positive economic impact in lives of the farmers and rural communities,” said Mr. Mughal.
Mughal stated that the impact of Islamic financial products was much higher than any other financial products due to its uniqueness of asset-based financing and other features, features which is averse to diversion of cash fund for other purposes; “Islamic financial products can be utilized in many fields for the development of agricultural, rural and micro financing in buying of seed, fertilizer, harvesting and planting equipment, agricultural inputs, tractor, pesticides, farming goods, solar tube-wells, etc., while Salam is ideal product for agricultural financing, through which a farmer can fulfill all the financial needs for whole crop circle, e.g. liquidity, seed, pesticide, fertilizer, harvesting, irrigation, and market linkages,” said he.
“Istisna can be used for small manufacturing business, dairy or agricultural production, construction of warehouses and cold storages, rural entrepreneur development, while Ijara is good for leasing of tractors, agricultural equipment, threshers, tube wells, small production unit lease, sugarcane planter, rice planter, harvesting vehicles, etc. Meanwhile, farmer can utilize musharaka, mudaraba and diminishing musharaka for rural housing, forest development, agricultural inputs, farming, sprinkler/drip/solar pumps, tube wells, microenterprise and SME setup, Agricultural Joint venture projects, Dairy and livestock development, etc.,” he detailed.
“The Islamic finance has specialized financial solutions for each segment of rural poverty, e.g. for extreme poor; zakat, sadqa, and fitr are available as grant-based financial product, for poor or upper lower class.
“Irrigation financing is a big challenge for the development of agriculture, and we can observe that only few banks and financial institutions have specialized products to cater the financial needs for irrigation financing; but we can understand that Islamic finance again as a step forward to address this issue,” he told the conference.
He concluded that Islamic Financial products were ideal for financial inclusion for those segments of society who are averse to interest-based financial products due to religious reasons; “we have to promote Islamic financial products as system, which can be benefited by Muslim and non-Muslim equally but for Muslim, there is an extra benefit that it is according to their religious believes but for Non-Muslims, it is an ideal solution of Banking, Finance and Business for prosperity and development,” he added.
Al-Huda Center of Islamic Banking and Islamic Economics (CIBE) is a well-recognized name in Islamic banking and finance industry for research, advisory and capacity building over 11 years. The prime goal has always been to adhere to the commitments and provide state-of-the-art advisory consultancy and educational services through various well-recognized modes vis-à-vis Islamic financial product development, sharia advisory, trainings workshops, and Islamic microfinance and takaful consultancies, etc.