Birth of APRACA
Establishment of APRACA Agencies
APRACA Chairmen and secretary generals
Major programmes conducted under the auspices of development agencies
APRACA Strategic Plan
Message from Chairman
Message from Vice Chairman
Executive Committee Members
APRACA regulations
List of General Assemblies
List of members
How to join APRACA
About Us
About us > History



Birth of APRACA

APRACA stands for the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association. The establishment of a Regional Association that promotes cooperation and facilitates mutual exchange of information and expertise in the field of rural finance was first proposed at the Regional Seminar on Agricultural Credit for Small Farmers, sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the Pacific in October 1974.

Subsequently under the auspices of FAO, rural finance and agricultural credit institutions in the region formally launched APRACA during its first General Assembly Meeting in New Delhi, India, on October 14, 1977, held in conjunction with the third FAO Asian Conference on Agricultural Credit and Cooperatives (October 10-14, 1977 in New Delhi). Its Constitution and By-laws were also adopted during the meeting.

The General Secretariat of APRACA was established at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-RAP) premises in Bangkok, Thailand.

A total of 37 institutions from 16 countries joined the APRACA as founding members - these are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, Iran, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Western Samoa and Thailand. The First General Assembly on October 14, 1977 elected Mr. G.V.K. Rao from India and a representative from the Philippines as Chairman and Vice Chairman of APRACA, respectively and appointed Mr. C.Y. Lee, Officer of FAO-RAP, as its first Secretary General.

As of the end of 2011, a total of 60 institutions in 23 countries in the Region are affiliated with the APRACA as its members.

Establishment of APRACA Agencies

APRACA has successfully achieved functional specialization by decentralizing its activities in the areas of training, consultancy and publications, through the creation and operation of following three agencies. All these activities have effectively been coordinated by the Secretariat.

The APRACA Publications was established by the decision of the sixth APRACA General Assembly held in Kathmandu, Nepal in December 1986. The APRACA Publications, based in Mumbai, India, has undertaken the collection and editing of relevant rural finance materials for the publication of the APRACA’s quarterly journal, Asia Pacific Rural Finance, later renamed as APRACA Journal of Rural Finance. Articles on innovative rural finance schemes and other relevant issues have been solicited from members and other partner institutions. It has also published other technical books on rural finance.

APRACA-CENTRAB incorporated on February 15, 1989 in Manila, Philippines as a training arm of APRACA. CENTRAB aimed at formalizing existing informal arrangements for stimulating and facilitating cooperation in the area of training and research and of promoting better understanding of financial, monetary, banking and economic development matters, particularly as they relate to agriculture and rural areas.

CENTRAB is governed by its Board of Trustees that comprises eight APRACA member institutions in the Philippines. CENTRAB has been hosted by member institutions in the Philippines, first by the Central Bank, then the Development Bank and, at present, by Land Bank of the Philippines.

APRACA established APRACA Consultancy Services (ACS) in June 1992 in Jakarta, Indonesia in order to provide development consulting services of relevance to, and in support of , APARCA objective and programmes. ACS aims at mobilizing and deploying experts from APRACA member and non-member institutions, conducting expert consultations related to rural development and poverty alleviation porogrammes, and undertaking studies on rural finance policy reforms and financial innovations.

ACS operates its own Board composed of three APRACA members in Indonesia; Bank Indonesia, Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Bukopin.


Major Programmes conducted under the auspices of Development Agencies 

APRACA has conducted various programmes for the uplift of rural poor through the development of rural and agricultural finance from its inauguration. Major porogtrammes conducted by APRACA in alliance with state or international development organizations are shown below:

APRACA-GTZ Regional Programme on Linkage Banking and Grassroots Financial Systems Development (1995-1997) 

APRACA obtained a grant “Programme on Linkage Banking and Grassroots Financial Systems Development” from Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zuammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH by mutual agreement on October 27, 1994. GTZ, later renamed as GIZ, was an international cooperation and development agency established by the German Government.

The Programme, with the donating budget of DM 1.2 million for three years, aimed at strengthening APRACA in its task of satisfying the need of member banks for further planning and implementation of Programme 1 (Linkage of self-help groups and banks) and for development of appropriate and sustainable financing instruments in support of micro-entrepreneurs. 

Under the Programme, country studies on microfinance were conducted in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan and Laos and national workshops on microfinance were held in Laos and China. A Regional Workshop on the linkage Programme: Assessment of Linage Projects in Asia was held in December 1997 in Denpasar, Indonesia with a view to assessing the present situation of linkage banking and its future prospects. The workshop was a culmination of the Regional Linkage Programme that had actively been promoted by APRACA for over a decade with technical support of GTZ.

APRACA-ILO-SDC Regional Programme on Collateral Substitutes (Apr. 1998-Mar. 2001)

APRACA conducted a Regional Programme on Collateral Substitutes under the auspices of International Labour Organization (ILO) of UN and the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC). ILO and SDC offered US$756,000 to APRACA during the Programme period of three years.

The Programme aimed to enable APRACA to strengthen its structure and its network of member institutions as a forum for exchange information and experience in the field of lending with the use of collateral substitutes, thereby building the capability of rural financial institutions, both large and small, in making their financial accessible to the rural poor.

National as well as regional studies, regional workshops, policy dialogues and training courses on collateral substitutes were conducted under the Programme. Research and training activities of the Programme were carried out by the active participation of APRACA Agencies, APRACA Consultancy Services and APRACA CENTRAB.


The five-year grant, signed by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President and APRACA Chairman, covered the implementation of the Regional Programme for Strengthening Financial Services for Rural Poor: Building on the Credit Experiences in IFAD Member States of Asia and the Pacific or dubbed as the MICROSERV Programme.

The Programme included the identification of innovations, lessons learned and insights with regard to rural and micro finance as well as their dissemination in the region through print media and major forums, such as workshops, field observation visits and training activities, During the Programme period, APRACA conducted 6 workshops, 4 training courses, 12 national seminars and 36 field visits that benefitted a total of 1,073 participants.

MICROSERV bestowed special importance on the participation of institutions and projects from least developed and developing countries in the region, particularly Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos Mongolia, Myanmar, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Vietnam. IFAD contributed a total of US$ 900,000 (US$ 180,000 annually) to the Programme.

IFAD-APRACA FinPower Programme (2007-2011)

APRACA has obtained a five-year technical and financial assistance grant from IFAD amounting to US$ 1.2 million to implement the Regional Programme of Accelerating the Financial Empowerment of Poor Rural Communities in Asia and the Pacific through Financial Innovations or dubbed as the IFAD-APRACA FinPower Programme, The FinPower Programme aimed to promote the financial empowerment of the rural poor in Asia-Pacific countries through policy dialogue, innovative pilot programmes, and knowledge sharing among actors in the rural finance sector. The programme, covering the period 2007 to 2011, mainly targeted 16 countries in the region-Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sir Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Under the programme, APRACA has annually conducted 20 to 25 projects such as regional studies and forums, national studies and forums, policy dialogues and pilot testing, excursion visits and training courses in the field of rural and micro finance in collaboration with its member institutions and IFAD’s project offices in respective countries.

APRACA Chairman and Secretary Generals
Secretary General
Mr. G V K Rao
Dr. Chong Young Lee
Republic of Korea
Mr. M. Ramakrishnayya Reserve
Bank of India, India
Dr. Sung Hoon Kim
Republic of Korea
Mr. Basilio Estanislao
Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippines
Mr. Chamlong Tohtong
Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives,  Thailand
Mr. Benjamin Quinonez
Mr. G B Thap
Nepal Rastra Bank, Nepal

Dr. Kun-Hwan Yoon
National Agriculture Cooperatives Federation,
 Republic of  Korea


Mr. Binhadi
Bank Indonesia,

Mr. H.B. Disanayaka
Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
Mr. Pittayapol Nattaradol
Mr. Mohd Rosli Abdul Aziz
Agro Bank, Malaysia
Mr. Zulkifli M. Noor
Mr. H. Milani
Bank Keshavarzi, Iran
Mr. Yong-Jin Kim
Republic of Korea
Mr. Y.C. Nanda
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, India
Mr. Margarito B. Teves
Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippines
Mr. Benedicto S. Bayaua
Mr. Zheng Hui
Agriculture Development Bank of China, China
Mr. Thiraphong Tangthirasunan
Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Thailand
Mr. Pham Tan Than
Viet Nam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam

Mr. A Tamikaev
OJSCB AgroBank, Uzbekistan
Mr. Won-Sik Noh
Republic of Korea
Mr. Kim Vada
National Bank of Cambodia



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