Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) reported here yesterday that, as of last month, it has extended Sh300 billion to 800,000 farmers in loans countrywide.
A statement issued in the city on Tuesday when signing a partnership deal with the National Bank of Commerce Bank (NBC), TADB said the loans have impacted the lives of 1,800,000 farmers by strengthening value chains in agriculture, livestock keeping and fisheries sectors.
The accord will empower the two banks to disburse Sh20 billion in low-interest loans to increase the capital of small holder farmers in the three sectors by transforming related value chains.
With this agreement, farmers can now apply for loans at NBC branches because those loans will be guaranteed by the TADB through a special programme called 'Smallholder Credit Guarantee Scheme' (SCGS).
"Their loans are guaranteed by us through the SCGS. We have taken this action to enable many more farmers across the country to get low-interest loans in partnership with NBC, farmers can now access affordable capital," the TADB director of Finance and Resource Mobilization, Mr Derick Lugemala, said at the signing ceremony.
Mr Lugemala also said that, up to last month, using the SCGS scheme, Sh75 billion has been given to boost projects in the three sectors, thereby impacting 11,000 beneficiaries directly, and 755,000 indirectly.
"The value chains which we have been financed under this scheme have improved hugely in cashew nuts, paddy, coffee, sugarcane, maize, cassava, cotton and poultry projects," explained Mr Lugemala.
Mr Elvis Ndunguru, the NBC director of Business Banking from NBC explained the manner in which the loans will be disbursed: "Individual small-holder farmers will access loans up-to Sh50 million, farmer groups and societies will get up-to Sh500 million, while registered SMEs whose agricultural projects benefit small-holder farmers will get access up-to TZS 1 billion," he told the occasion, adding: "For a farmer or SME to access these affordable loans, one will have to have an active agri-business and a good account for his or her business. However, for loans up-to Sh150 million no such account is required; instead we shall visit your farm or business, and make an assessment based on the loan application."