IN efforts to promote and support transformation of agriculture from subsistence to commercial undertaking, the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) and the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) are in the process to develop partnership to safeguard horticultural industry.
TADB’s Acting Managing Director, Mr Francis Assenga said that the Bank wants to address limited financing challenges that face horticultural industry in the country mainly by addressing issues such as commodity trading, high interest rates, short-term loan maturities and rigid repayment terms without flexibility to accommodate the seasonal and/or cyclical nature of agriculture.
TADB’s Acting Chief added that his Bank acknowledges importance of TAHA and the horticultural industry as a whole in the country that largely depends on smallholder farmers, with export of fruits and vegetables alone being 70 per cent dependent on farmers with land holding less than two (2) hectares.
“We aim to make an arrangement with TAHA that believes in the spirit of public and private partnership in realising TADB’s role in increasing access to non-finance support services like business case development, market information, business management and good agricultural practices (GAP) training as well as contract negotiation for horticultural farmers in the country,” he said.
According to Mr Assenga the Bank is structured to deliver concessional agricultural loans in three categories namely: Short-term, Medium- term and Long-term lending by deploying various delivery channels.
These include among others direct loaning to smallholder farmer organisations, refinancing, co-financing, syndications and infrastructure financing to address financing gaps in the value chains of focus.
“Through the proposed arrangement TADB will coordinate mechanism for addressing the entire value chains in agriculture, from production through various value-addition stages, marketing of the final product, and assisting with market linkages,” added TADB’s Acting Managing Director Mr Francis Assenga.
Speaking on the proposed partnership, TAHA’s Chief Executive Officer, Jacqueline Mkindi said that as an apex private sector association, TAHA has been actively engaging with government institutions and agencies, Development Partners, Private Sector companies and platforms, regional and international bodies in its strategy to promote inclusive industry growth and sustainability and advocacy for the growth and competitiveness of the horticultural industry in Tanzania.