Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) targets to double its loan portfolio to Sh120 billion by the end of this year as it seeks to raise its profile as a trusted lender in agriculture and its value chain.
Since its establishment two years ago, the bank, which is specifically dedicated to farmers, has issued loans amounting to Sh45 billion, the TADB director of finance and information technology, Mr Severin Ndaskoi, told The Citizen at the 42nd Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF).
The planned increase in loan issuance, according to Mr Ndaskoi, will partly be contributed by a Sh103 billion loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In December 2016, the AfDB, through the African Development Fund (ADF), approved a $93.5 million (about Sh212 billion on the prevailing exchange rate) loan for on-lending to the TADB.
And Mr Ndaskoi said yesterday that over 60 per cent of people visiting the bank's pavilion at the 42nd DITF were interested in borrowing funds.
The government-owned bank, he said, is also planning to open branches in Mwanza and Dodoma so as to serve more and more people.
"We have been receiving complaints from the public that we are not in other regions and that is very true. We would like to assure Tanzanians that TADB started just about two years ago but before the end of this year, we will open branches in other areas," he said
He said TADB was also getting into partnerships with commercial banks so that they could give loan to farmers under an arrangement where it (TADB) would cover 50 per cent of the loan.
"Commercial banks are afraid of giving out loans to farmers due to the fear of losing their depositors' money... .TADB is willing to shoulder the risk, for that is why we are here," he said.
Speaking at the pavilion Minister for Finance and Investment Dr Philip Mpango challenged he bank, asking it to ensure it starts issuing dividends to the government.
"People are complaining about this bank that it is operating in Dar es Salaam instead of areas where farmers are located. You need to go to other regions. The pace of agriculture growth is very small so we need this bank to help farmers, "he said .