THE Vice-President, Samia Suluhu has called upon financial institutions in the country to improve lending acceleration to farmers so that they increase their capital and production activities.
The Vice President made the call over the weekend, while launching this year's Agriculture Exhibition- NaneNane 2020 held nationally at Nyakabindi Stadium in Simiyu region with a slogan "For Agricultural Development, Livestock and Fisheries Choose the Best Leaders 2020".
She said despite the institutions being major contributors to the development of agricultural, livestock and fisheries sectors, there is still a need for them to increase their loans' issuance to agricultural stakeholders, citing the fact that currently only nine (9) per cent of loans released by the institutions go to the agricultural sector.
On his part, the Minister for Agriculture, Japhet Hasunga said that his ministry has introduced a new farmers' registration programme that would enable the government to have data on all important information about farmers, including types of crops they produce, rate of their production and kind of support they need from the State.
Speaking during the event, NBC Bank Managing Director, Theobald Sabi said the economy of Tanzania can be transformed through mechanization and improvement of agriculture and commercialization, hence called upon the agricultural stakeholder to take advantage of NBC tailor made agricultural financial solution named "NBC Shambani".
"We are proud to be part of this year's NaneNane Agriculture Fair 2020 as a major sponsor. Agricultural development has always been among our top priority, and we are at the forefront of promoting this important sector," he added.
For a third year in a row, NBC has pumped in 40m/- to sponsor the exhibition.
"As NBC, we would like to offer more support to the agricultural industry by giving farmers access to equipment for agricultural mechanization through our new NBC Shambani product," he pointed out, while also emphasizing on the need for young people to get involved in agriculture to grow the sector.
Mr Sabi further spoke about important changes in lending to the farmers where he emphasized that the bank in collaboration with the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade) have organized a business seminar with the SMEs including agriculturalists throughout the fair where the participants would be trained on how to correctly execute their loans.
"And if a farmer sets out to get a loan, then he or she will definitely get it, we try to make this procedure as clear and open as possible." he added.
The launched NaneNane Agriculture Fair that would highlight innovation in agriculture and identify the imperatives to achieve food security and sustainable development.
It will also provide an ideal platform for local and international agriculture stakeholders to exchange expertise, discover trends and developments, and seize marketing opportunities.
Similarly, the event will offer visitors the opportunity to explore a wide range of agricultural technologies, equipment, and related products, meet key decision-makers, and discover the best practices in the sector.