Speaking during the climax of this year’s Nane Nane Agriculture Trade Fair held in Simiyu on Wednesday, NMB Bank’s Managing Director, Ineke Bussemaker said that the amount will be a big boost in improving the agriculture sector in the country.Bussemaker said since agriculture is the back bone of country’s economy and the government’s industrialization plan, there is need by stakeholders to jointly invest in the sector which not only employs more people but is also important to feed industries.
“Apart from agricultural financing, we also provide trainings to farmers so that they can realize enormous agriculture opportunities while making use of the banking sector as the key driver to their development,” Bussemaker noted.
She said it is difficult to attain the government’s industrialization strategy if agriculture will be given minimal attention by development stakeholders hence NMB as the largest bank responsible in agricultural value chain financing has funds allocated for the sector.
In 2017, NMB Bank managed to train more than 1,000 Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS) farmers in financial management so that they see agriculture with an agribusiness angle.
"As you know it is very difficult to meet every farmer in the country and since the government has been insisting on the formation of these AMCOS so we decided to use them as a proper vehicles to meet large numbers of farmers at once and train them on issues relating to agribusiness," the NMB Bank Plc chief added.
Speaking in separate interviews, some residents of Simiyu region commended NMB on its move to support the agricultural sector in the country calling on other financial institutions to follow suit.The residents also advised banks and other financial institutions to be more focused on rural areas as a way of assisting farmers transform their farming from subsistence to commercial as NMB Bank is doing.
One of the residents, Mokili Samson said NMB has been supporting agriculture in the region through different channels including financial support and training although most beneficiaries of agriculture productivity are in urban areas."Yes there are many NMB branches in the country but most of them are found at district level while we farmers live in villages and wards which are far from towns,” Samson noted while acknowledging that through NMB Wakala baking services are available close to villages.
He also suggested that NMB use its bank on wheels which were available at Nane Nane grounds, to serve remote areas where no agent is available.