NMB Bank Plc has this year set aside 1.9bn/- that would go towards supporting construction of farmers' granaries countrywide.
That was said by bank's Acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr Benedicto Baragomwa, while briefing Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan in Simiyu Region over the weekend, when she visited their pavilion before officially opening of this year's NaneNane exhibitions in the area.
He said that would be possible in attempts to support the government in boosting agriculture sector in the country.
He said in terms of assets, lending, deposits and profitability, his bank has contributed 42.5m/- to this year's Farmers' Day and exhibition bonanza that attracted different stakeholders in the country's banking sector, and thousands of visitors.
Mr Baragomwa further told the Vice-President that the bank has also started selling insurance policies to farmers through its risk management business initiative, which trades as NMB Bancassurance and increasingly becoming popular due to its value for money to customers.
Mr Baragomwa said the bank has since its inception and privatization some 23 years ago, been a pivotal player in national building supporting all strategic sectors, including agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
He said NMB bank, which since 2018 has sponsored NaneNane with over 100 m/- at this year's exhibition would continue supporting agriculture stakeholders, and showcase the various services it offers for national development.
"We have come here at the NaneNane Exhibition in order to facilitate a beneficial relationship between us and farmers, herders and other agricultural stakeholders so that they can exploit the opportunities available in the market to boost their trading and capital with a view to uplifting the agricultural sector in the country," he explained.
In response, the Vice-President said the government has started providing crop insurance services to farmers; a move the NMB financial expert said was timely and would support their bancassurance endeavour.
However, she called upon bank to increase their lending to farmers, which she said was currently not enough at nine per cent of all loans provided by financial institutions doing business in the country.
Mama Samia also urged them to invest in the construction of granaries, saying the infrastructures are vital in the growth and overall development of the agricultural sector in the country.
"I recognize the importance of your participation (banks and the whole private sector) in marking the Farmers' Day and participating in the NaneNane Exhibition, since you are all a catalyst in the growth and development of our agriculture together with the government in supporting priority areas that are strategically vital for production," she noted in her speech.
Earlier, the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Japhet Hasunga, commended the government for making Tanzania a middle-income country five years earlier than envisaged noting that the farming fraternity has played a key role in the development.
According to him, the contribution of the agricultural sector in realizing that goal was hugely supported by all stakeholders, including banks through lending and advisory services.
At the NMB stand, VP Samia was also told that the bank will continue supporting and working closely with the government to empower farmers, livestock keepers and fishers and as well ensure they improve welfare of Tanzanians.