PASS Trust vows to support cashew industry

Private Agriculture Sector Support Trust (PASS Trust) has reaffirmed its resolve to continue supporting cashew nut farming to reduce poverty in southern regions.

PASS Trust Managing Director, Mr Iddy Lujina, told journalists during the cashew nut stakeholders conference held in Dar es Salaam recently that cashew nut farming is one of the sub sectors that need priority in developing it.

“We have vowed to see that the sub sector develops,” he said, adding that PASS has already started to help farmers and other stakeholders.

Regions producing cashew nut in Tanzania include Lindi, Mtwara, Coast Region and Ruvuma especially Tunduru District. He said that up to now they have helped farmers from those regions to buy subsidies; purchasing lorries for transportation and buying tractors for farming.

He emphasised the need to support farmers in the country considering a majority number of people depending on the sector direct and indirectly.

“The market for cashew nut is huge...there is a need to support the sub sector,” he said. He explained that PASS Trust is helping the sub sector to compliment government’s efforts in developing cashew industry in Tanzania.

“The government’s efforts toward attaining middle income status should go hand in hand with supporting agriculture sector,” he said.

In 2011 PASS facilitated about 11,000 farmers to access loans worth 22bn/- from commercial banks through its business development services and credit guarantees and the loans reached 30bn/- last year.

To date PASS Trust have branches in Morogoro for the central zone, Mbeya for South western zone, Dar es Salaam for the coastal regions, Mwanza for the lake Zone, Moshi branch covering Northern Zone and Mtwara covering south eastern Zone.

The Trust has supported over 100,000 farmers to access credit to the tune of 120bn/- in the past ten years and its new 5 year programme aims to support 300,000 farmers to access loans worth 290bn/-.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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