TANZANIA Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) yesterday pledged to allocate fund to support irrigation farming with the purpose of facilitating attainment of sustainable food self-sufficiency in the country.
Speaking during his visit to various projects in Kilombero District in Morogoro Region, the bank's Acting Managing Director, Mr Francis Assenga, said the country has a potential for attaining sustainable food selfsufficiency that will improve the national standards of living and contribute to national economic growth if much will be dedicated to irrigation technology.
"The potential and prospects found in the sector notwithstanding, agricultural growth is largely constrained by low productivity, lack of knowledge on modern practices and technologies and limited use of irrigation," he said.
According to Mr Assenga, other challenges that hinder agricultural growth include lack of capital and access to credit, inadequate or lack of markets and remunerative prices, poor transport, storage, power and other infrastructure in rural areas, limited or no value addition and climate change and land degradation, among others.
He said the bank is looking forward to resolve some of the challenges and enable farmers to practise profitable irrigation farming. "Irrigation is essential for better crop yields and production. It mitigates vagaries of weather, which is becoming more frequent and intensive because of global climate change," he cemented.
Mr Assenga said that his bank would use the recently received 209bn/- billion from African Development Bank (ADB) to support government's efforts in promoting and supporting transformation of agriculture from subsistence to commercial undertaking to effectively and sustainably contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction.
Kilombero District Commissioner (DC), Mr James Ihunyo, requested Kilombero dwellers to utilise TADB's financial opportunities. So far 2bn/- has been disbursed in the district to facilitate sugarcane and paddy farming.