TANZANIA – National Microfinance Bank (NMB), commercial bank in Tanzania has approved Tz40bn (US$17.2m) to finance small-scale farming in the country in the year 2020 to enhance food security.

“We plan to lend over Tz40bn (US$17.2m) to small scale farmers countrywide this year to enhance food security through increased production, job creation and economic diversification,” said NMB Chief Retail Banking, Filbert Mponzi Mponzi.

He also revealed that the bank has teamed up with Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank to finance cassava farming in Handeni District, Tanga region with Tz3bn (US$1.3m), reports Ipp Media.

He said the Tz3bn (US$1.3m) will be disbursed to 43 groups with a total of 421 farmers benefiting individually adding that it was meant to address recurring issues of low productivity, limited farmers’ participation to agribusiness supply chains and institutional realignment.

“We are committed to supporting smallholder farmers who in most cases are excluded from formal banking services,” the NMB CRB added.

He explained that the move is meant to encourage investment in cassava value chain production to enable farmers increase their income while targeting Chinese market demand for the tuber.

Chairperson of Tanzania Cassava Producers and Processors Association, Mwantumu Mahiza said the loan will assist growth of cassava cultivation with training and provision of hybrid planting materials given to farmers.

“Currently, cassava is big business in Handeni district with many tons being shipped to Dar es Salaam daily,” Mahiza said.

Tanzania Agriculture Development Bank (TADB) has given 50 percent guarantee of the Tz 3bn (US$1.3m) loan.

Last week TADB, the state-owned development finance institution released Sh7. 7billion (US$3.3m) to coffee farmers cooperative unions to facilitate production in the 2020/21 season.

The cooperative unions to benefit from the funding are Kagera Cooperative Union (KCU) and Karagwe District Cooperative Union (KDCU) in Kagera region, northwest of Tanzania, the country’s main growing region of Robusta coffee.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE