Debating ways of promoting lending in agriculture as the nation braces to implement the Phase Two of Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP-II), seminar facilitators underscored the need for government to throw its weight behind a comprehensive agenda that seeks to promote lending in Tanzania’s farming.
Debaters were elaborating on a presentation by the representative of Tanzania Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS), Killo Lussewa, who said the Bunge is well-placed to advice the government on the need to table a law that will increase lending in agriculture and simultaneously reassure banks that money that goes into farming is not lost.
He passionately called for soft bank loans for peasants.
Lussewa who is also the PASS Director of Business Development praised the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) as Tanzania’s torch bearer of modernizing farming and transforming peasants, said SAGCOT has enviable experience in catalysing responsible agribusiness investments in Tanzania and raising smallholders’ livelihoods.
“This nation has witnessed big successes in areas served by the SAGCOT. Let us hope the SAGCOT model will be replicated in as many part of our country as possible,” Lussewa told reporters here that, the majority of whom were MPs, adding that Tanzania’s agriculture now needs money to pay top-level experts, secure best farming inputs so that productivity goes up right from grassroots level.
In his presentation, the representative of East African Grain Council (EAGC), Ikunda Terry, praised the seminar as a commendable forum that has enabled MPs to know the achievements, challenges and problems faced in farming and those faced by farmers.
“We hope through this seminar the MPs will have a broad understanding of the ASDPII and farming in general,” he said also praising the government and sector stakeholders for organizing the seminar.
The representative of the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT), Mwombeki Baregu, said the trust support fully the ASDP- II because the programme direct actors in agriculture.
“Now with this programme, we think there is room for education on control of funds and spending, personal savings so that a peasant becomes a prospective investor.”
He said agriculture financing was important tool in transforming the sector and that FSDT was also a partner in the sector that employs majority of Tanzania.
The ASDP-II was launched recently by President John Magufuli. The seminar for legislators also attended by the Minister for Agriculture, Dr Charles Tizeba in which representatives from 15 major stakeholder organisations including SAGCOT, AGRA, TPSF, FSDT, ASPIRE, EAGC, ACT, Ansaf, AMDT and others made their presentations.