Africa/WorldBusinessNewsTanzania

Sh114 Billion Set Aside for Farm Lending

About 345,000 entrepreneurs in agriculture are set to benefit from Sh114 billion guaranteed loans this year.

The Private Agricultural Sector Support (Pass), a non-banking financial organisation that facilitates credit guarantee to commercial farmers and agri-businesses says it will support the agri-business through a programme called Patient Procurement Platform.

The arrangement seeks to develop scalable and affordable linkages and instruments for farmers while ensuring commercial viability for the private sector, according to Pass managing director Nicomed Bohay.

The organisation will partner with the World Food Programme (WFP) to support maize farmers in Songea, Mbeya, Iringa, Morogoro, Dodoma, Manyara and Arusha to access fertilisers, seeds and agrochemicals to increase production. “The arrangement targets almost 50,000 farmers who will receive loans, with priority being in areas where there are active supply-side players to allow cost-sharing on the field, extension and risk mitigation activities,” Mr Bohay said yesterday.

The project will focus on building technological interventions to increase scale and sustainability in post-harvest operations as it works with stakeholders along the value chain to increase the overall size of the value pool created under the platform, he added.

WFP spends $1.2 billion (over Sh2.4 trillion) on annual purchases, 50 per cent of which is procured from countries where the agency operates, creating local economy multiplier effects. Pass which facilitates the provision of business development and financial services, was established in 2000 under the Agricultural Sector Programme Support as a project until 2007 when it was registered as a trust, with similar mission to facilitate commercialisation of subsistence farming.

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