At least 1.2bn/- was issued as loans by various farmers’ savings and credit cooperatives (Saccos) to members in Morogoro Regions up to October this year.
The formation of those Saccos was facilitated by the Network of Small Scale Famer Groups in Tanzania (Mviwata) few years ago.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam recently, Mviwata Executive Director Stephen Ruvuga, said the money was issued as loans to members who spent the money for various economic activities.
Most of the beneficiaries spent the loans to purchase fertilisers, pay school fees and build houses.
According to Ruvuga, Mviwata facilitated the formation of the Saccos, the building of capacity to members and leaders in operation and management.
Some of the supported cooperatives are doing fine and have increased their capital, he said.
Citing, he said, the revolving fund in the three regional Saccos in Dodoma, Morogoro and Kilimanjaro has about 200m/-
Mviwata facilitated formation of Saccos networks in Morogoro Region which is called MOMFSECO and Kilimanjaro known as Msawaki.
At the moment there are more than 200 Saccos formed with more than 31,000 members whereby 40 percent of the members are female and 60 percent are male.
Up to October this year, Saccos in Morogoro Region had an average of 2bn/- as capital, he said, adding that there are many economic challenges facing the farmers in the area.
Some of them are lack of access to reliable agricultural produce market and financial services, low prices of agricultural produce and food insecurity.
According to him, Mviwata has already drawn key strategic areas of intervention which include formation and development of farmer groups and networks.
Others are improving lobbying and advocacy capacity of the farmers, economic empowerment of the farmers through improving agricultural marketing systems and rural micro financing, promoting awareness of cross cutting issues among the farming community, particularly, HIV/Aids and gender and climate change.
In an effort to empower the members, he said, the organization, in collaboration with other stakeholders, has built markets in Morogoro, Dodoma, Tanga, Mbeya and Rukwa regions.
At the moment nine markets have been constructed at Nyandira, Tandai, Tawa, Kibaigwa, Mkata, Igagala, Igurusi, Matai and Kasanga.
Owned in partnership between Mviwata and respective district council, the markets are run on self sustainability basis.
Ruvuga said stakeholders are involved in all processes from construction to management of the markets, facilitating ownership of the same.
The markets have become centres where traders and farmers collectively meet and hence creating transparency and increasing the power of negotiation in crop selling.