Local bank issues loans worth 4bn/- to farmers in 3 cashew region

17Jan 2020
Beatrice Philemon
The Guardian
Local bank issues loans worth 4bn/- to farmers in 3 cashew region

YETU Microfinance Bank has disbursed 4bn/- in loans to 4,068 smallholder farmers engaged in cashew-nut production in Mtwara, Lindi and Coast regions so that they can operate their farming activities more effectively, raise production and produce cashew-nuts that meet domestic and international-

-market demands.

Yetu Microfinance Bank Plc Managing Director Altemius Millinga told ‘The Guardian’ yesterday that the loans were issued in 2019/2020 farming season directly to the farmers but in partnership with 127 Agricultural marketing Cooperatives (AMCOs) and cash was disbursed directly in the farmer’s individual bank account.

The loans had two components, farm inputs loans which were delivered through selected suppliers and Bridging cash “ Jikimu” which was delivered on monthly basis to cover household and farm need prior harvesting and sale of cashews.

The farmers can access cash through mobile banking, ATMs and cash over the counter at our out Financial Services Centre (FSC) located in Masasi, Kilwa, Lindi and Zhakem in Mbagala.

“We provide cash for household consumption needs as a mechanism to fight side selling locally known as ‘kangomba’. Each borrower qualifies for 300,000/- which are disbursed on monthly basis to address consumption and emergence cash needs,” he noted.

The bank has a clear strategy to finance smallholder farmers in the cashews value chain and later include coffee and other crops.

The model of delivery of financial services work only with crops participating in the warehouse receipt system.

So far the bank has invested in mobile banking and other technologies in order to reach smallholder farmers in any location.

Smallholder cashew farmers have also access to other products of the bank including loans for house improvement, Water and sanitation (WASH), Agro-asset loans (power tillers, tricycle motorbikes, greenhouses and drip irrigation system.

“Our biggest challenge is that we are not wanted by AMCOS as we deliver loans directly to farmers. We have learned that AMCOs model need to be revisited with all governance issues addressed,” he noted.

Right now the bank had continued to extend its financial services in Morogoro, Tanga, Mtwara, Lindi, Coast, and Dar es Salaam regions and Unguja in the Isles.

Yetu Microfinance Bank is dedicated to providing financial services to the unbanked and under banked people in Tanzania.

The bank operate three branches namely Mbagala and Mzizima in Dar es Salaam and Mngeta in Morogoro and 16 Financial Services Centres located in the same region. With technology application the bank has brought banking services in urban and rural areas including remote villages.