Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the country's second largest lender by assets, plans to lend 160 billion yuan ($23.29 billion) of new loans to rural residents in 2009, the lender said in a statement on Feb 23.
The bank said its loans are expected to reach 3 million rural households and it aims to provide 50 billion yuan's credit line to rural residents through a debit card specially designed for farmers.
More than 20 million migrant workers, mostly from China's vast rural areas, have lost their jobs due to the global economic downturn, according to official figures. The government has unveiled a series of new policies to provide rural residents with training and bank credit.
The State-controlled ABC's lending plan supports the government's efforts to improve the incomes of rural residents. The average annual income for rural residents in China was 4,700 yuan in 2008, official figures revealed.