THE Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) has, since it was established three years ago, issued 45bn/-loans to farmers by the 2017/18 financial year.
TADB Acting Director General Severine Ndaskoi revealed this when briefing the Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Philip Mpango, at the ongoing international trade fair at Sabasaba grounds in Dar es Salaam.
Dr Mpango visited the institutions under his portfolio that were participating in a two-week long fair, including TADB.
"By opening zonal branches we will reach more farmers in their areas," he said. Noting that in the 2016/17 fiscal year alone, the facility issued 11bn/- loans to farmers.
When launched, the TADB set as its target to issue loans to over 1,000,000 farmers in five years from 2016/17 as it seeks to realise its vision 2025.
Mr Ndaskoi told the minister that for the past one week of the event at least 30 farmers sought loans from the bank and 20 of them had qualified for them.
Initially, the minister raised concern over the farmers' grievance that the bank is based in Dar es Salaam, while farmers in need of loans lived in rural areas.
"Farmers in rural areas need loans, but your bank has no branches in upcountry regions," he stated. Dr Mpango explained that the government had established the bank to support farmers, urging it to make effort to raise capital on its own instead of depending on government funds.
"In this financial year, you must become new and up-to-date to match the country's agenda to revolutionise agriculture for industrial development," he directed the management of the bank.
During his tour of the pavilions of agencies under his ministry, Dr Mpango told the management of each of them to promise when they would provide dividend to the government.
This comes after President John Magufuli's directive that the government's parastatal organisations should now operate on profit and provide dividend to the government so that it finances development projects.