Briefing Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa who visited the bank’s pavilion at the ongoing ‘Nane Nane’ Agriculture Exhibitions being held at national level in Bariadi District of Simiyu region, Nsekela said the Tier 1 capital bank has given 40 percent of the loans disbursed to the agriculture sector in the country.
“The country has over 57 financial institutions that have given loans to the agriculture sector and together they have 60 percent stake in the market compared to CRDB which has a 40 percent market share,” Nsekela said.
He pledged to continue backing government efforts to modernise agriculture by lending to farmers, input suppliers and agro-processor to enhance the value chain needed by smallholder farmers to grow and graduate into commercial farmers.
“We have also been giving farmers training on basics of financial management and agribusiness adoption once they open accounts with us,” he added while stressing that CRDB has a long history of supporting the sector.
The CRDB chief further noted that the Dar es Salaam based lender has started strategic plan with a slogan, ‘Our agriculture, our industries, our economy,’ which is aimed at boosting the value chain to ensure that commodities are valued added by going into the market.
“Through this plan, we also aim at giving farmers affordable loans with modest interest rate, finance agro-processing factories and training smallholders’ farmers on modern agriculture practices, saving but also borrowing and repaying,” he noted.
Last year, the bank disbursed 707.2bn/- in loans to the agriculture sector of which sugar producers got 167.3bn/-, 103bn/- went to tobacco producers, cotton got 97bn/-, cereals got 89.9bn/- and tea producers received 63.2bn/- among many others.
“Other crops of strategic importance such as cashew nuts, sisal and forests got 59.5bn/- in all,” the CRDB Managing Director added while revealing that thousands of farmers have opened ‘FahariKilimo’ Accounts which are tailor made to meet their needs.
In remarks after the briefing, Prime Minister Majaliwa commended CRDB for being patriotic and targeting smallholder farmers who are an important group of producers assuring the country of food security and foreign currency.
“I can only say that the government will continue working closely with banks such as CRDB which are doing a very good job of lubricating economic growth through financing different sectors,” Majaliwa pledged.