Bangladesh has kicked off a new smart card program for farmers aimed at increasing productivity and reducing fraud, according to BBC News.
All 20 million small to medium-sized farms in Bangladesh, farmers will receive the cards, which allow farmers to open bank accounts with as little as a few cents, and grant the government the ability to pay subsidies directly to farmers.
The government hopes that the direct deposit system will keep middlemen and embezzlers from taking chunks out of federal aid, and that the bank loans will help keep money in the farmers’ pockets that would otherwise be skimmed from rural moneylenders.
The cards will also contain information on the land the farmers have under cultivation, the crops they produce and the fertilizers they will need, reports BBC News.
The Government has also prepared an interactive database of farmers to work in concert with the smart card project. Bangladesh’s inaugural distribution via smart card will be a $100m fuel subsidy.
Read more here.