21 July 2014

Tanzania: Kikwete Cautions Farmers On Proper Loan Utilisation

Mbinga — PRESIDENT Kikwete has stressed the need for farmers to utilize loans they receive for the intended purpose in order to improve their welfare.

He said loans should be directed to improving their farms with a view to increasing their output and beefing up their economic well-being. President Kikwete said disciplined utilization of loans was the only way for improved economic status, adding that deploying loans on extraneous things would derail them from reaching their targets.

He made the remarks on Sunday when handing 500m/- to each of four coffee farmers' unions aimed at improving their farming methods for more productivity.

"You should use the loans for your improved farming practices. They are not meant for marrying more wives, paying for school fees nor repaying debts.

If you do so you will never realize your objectives," he cautioned. The dummy cheques were handed to Mahilo, Ngaka, Ngima and Pilikano coffee farmers' unions with more than 4, 330 members.

"The loans must be channelled to the intended use, you should not divert the loans' purpose because some might choose to spend the money on luxuries.

In such an event you will not be able to repay the loans" said President Kikwete, adding:. "They are meant for improving coffee farming, not completing your house construction or paying school fees. If you fail to repay you will lose your property which you deposited as collateral."

NSSF dished out the 2bn/- loans to the groups and the firm's Acting Director General, Ms Chiku Matesa, said the loans had been issued through a special programme to empower farmers and smallscale miners to address their productivity challenges.

She said they realized that improving farmers' welfare was key as the majority of Tanzanians engaging in agriculture were set to benefit. In another development, President Kikwete announced massive changes in the education sector which will see degree holders teaching in primary schools.

He said the programme was expected to take off in a year's time under which first degree holders would be offered teaching jobs in primary schools in a bid to improve the education sector.

President Kikwete said the move aimed to take education to a higher level, adding that in the developed world nursery school teachers had degrees.

"Time and trends have changed, Formerly Form Four leavers were being enrolling in teachers' colleges, however the trend is changing. We cannot run away from development," he said.

He said the country was experiencing positive performance changes in ward secondary schools compared to when they started.

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