THE Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB), is committed to assist smallholder coffee farmers to enable them improve their operations from subsistence to commercial farming, it has been disclosed.
TADB Zonal Manager, Mr Mike Granta, explained that during the 2019/20 crop buying season, the bank disbursed about 23.2bn/ for coffee industry improvement in Kagera Region which was circulated among farmers through their Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS), fetching a total of 64bn/-.
"We are happy that the funds have positive results. Both Kagera Cooperative Union (KCU), and Karagwe District Cooperative Union (KDCU), have effectively utilized the funds by collecting coffee from farmers," he said.
He explained that KDCU received about 12bn/-which was disbursed as loans among farmers in Karagwe and Kyerwa districts, fetching about 44bn/-after circulation. Out of the amount, 34bn/-was paid to the farmers while 10bn/-was paid to service providers.
Mr Granta made the revelation on Friday at Kayanga township in Karagwe District during the handover of two motor cycles worth 5m/-to Nyakatuntu and Luhijo AMCOS.
TADB earlier gave a pledge to AMCOS which performed well in mobilising farmers to open bank accounts. Nyakatuntu AMCOS recorded 96 per cent while Luhijo AMCOS recorded 84 per cent performance, respectively.
Mr Granta noted that TADB seeks to encourage adoption of modern farming technologies by smallholder farmers through access to financial services, in order to create employment, food security and promotion of their operations from subsistence to commercial farming.
Similarly, TADB was encouraging commercial banks to improve lending to smallholder farmers who are excluded from formal banking services, he said.
Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), Brig. Gen Marco Gaguti who was the chief guest, appealed to KDCU, KCU and AMCOS leaders to ensure that farmers benefited from the assets under their jurisdiction.
“Ensure that you conduct business transparently. The farmers, who are owners, should enjoy dividends accrued from the assets," he said.
KCU comprises 133 Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS).
Out of the number, 53 are in Muleba, 51 in Bukoba Rural, 26 in Missenyi while three others are in Bukoba Urban. KDCU, on the other hand, comprises about 126 AMCOS.