Farmers’ bank due December

Farmers tending their field
The Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) is scheduled to open its doors for business in December this year.That has been confirmed by the Bank of Tanzania (BoT).
 
The coming of the TADB is expected to assist farmers in accessing inexpensive long-term loans for buying farm implements.

According to BoT, a study on the establishment of  TADB has been conducted and the government has given a go-ahead for  the setting up of the institution.

The latest BoT’s report states that the bank is expected to be operational by December 2012 to play a key role in offering support to farmers.

The establishment of such an agricultural development financial institution in the country will be  a result of efforts that started in 2000, when proposals to have a farmers’ bank were put in motion.

But, it was officially graced by BoT, the financial regulator that announced tenders for conducting a feasibility study for its establishment in 2009/2010.

The coming of TADB will be a milestone for the government, which is endeavouring to speed up the growth of the agricultural sector through its Kilimo Kwanza strategy.

An initial capital of US $500 million (7.5bn/-) is needed to launch the bank. Agriculture accounts for about a quarter of the national income. It provides employment opportunities to about 80 percent of people.

Capital-Intensive farming
It has linkages with the non-farm sector through forward linkages to agro-processing, consumption and export; provides raw materials to industries and a market for manufactured goods.

Tanzania’s agriculture is dominated by smallholder farmers who  cultivate an average farm sizes of between 0.9 hectare and three hectares each.

The country’s agriculture is rainfed agriculture. Food crop production dominates the agriculture economy and 5.1 million hectares are cultivated annually. Women constitute the main part of agricultural labour force.

The major constraint facing the agriculture sector is the falling labour and land productivity due to application of poor technology, dependence on unreliable and irregular weather conditions. Both crops and livestock are adversely affected by periodical droughts.

Irrigation holds the key to stabilizing agricultural production in Tanzania to improve food security, increase farmers’ productivity and incomes, and also to produce higher valued crops such as vegetables and even flowers.
Source: The Citizen,www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported Sturmius Mtweve

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