At the same time, the bank eyes to open zonal branches in a bid to extend its wings to upcountry regions to reduce geographical barriers to farmers and serve them more.
When launched, the TADB set a target of issuing loans to over 1,000,000 farmers in five years from 2016/17 as it seeks to play an increasingly important role in the country to realise its vision 2025.
TADB’s Acting Director General Severine Ndaskoi said this when briefing Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango at the ongoing international trade fair at Sabasaba grounds in Dar es Salaam.
Dr Mpango was visiting the institutions under his portfolio that are participating at the two-week long fair, including the TADB.
“By opening the branches in zones we will reach more farmers in their areas,” he said, noting that in 2016/17 fiscal year alone the bank gave 11bn/- as loans to the latter.
Ndaskoi told the minister that for the past one week of the event, at least 30 farmers sought the loans from the bank, saying 20 of them had qualified and may secure loans from the bank.
Initially, the minister raised concerns over farmers’ outcry that the bank was centred in Dar es Salaam while the farmers in need of loans were available in rural areas.
“Farmers in rural areas need loans but you are not there in the upcountry regions,” he stated.
Dr Mpango explained that the government had established the bank with intention to support the farmers, challenging it make efforts to raise the capital on its own instead of depending on government’s funds.
“In this financial year you must become new and up-to-date in order to go in tandem with the country’s agenda to revolutionize the agriculture for the industrial development,” he directed the management of the bank.
During his tour at different pavilions of the agencies under his ministry, Dr Mpango was demanding management of each of them to promise when they will provide dividends to the government.
This comes as a follow up to President John Magufuli’s directive that the government’s parastatals and organisations should now operate on profit and provide dividend to the government so that it finances development projects.