PASS Trust pledges support to sugar, dairy companies to boost

18Nov 2020
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
PASS Trust pledges support to sugar, dairy companies to boost
  • production, job creation

​​​​​​​THE Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS Trust) has pledged to support Tanzania’s agricultural production companies through its credit guarantee scheme to enable the companies increase production, create employment and reduce poverty in the country- in line with the government’s vision.

PASS Trust team during a visit to one of Kahama Fresh investments in Karagwe District, Kagera Region last week.

The Trust ‘whose sole objective is to facilitate access to financial and business development services for the agribusiness entrepreneurs in Tanzania, has been working to benefit particularly small holder farmers in Tanzania who cannot access credit in financial institutions, by linking them with financial institutions and offering them between a 20-60% credit guarantee, thus enabling millions of agribusiness entrepreneurs to secure loans.

A section of the Trust’ board members led by its business Committee chairperson Dr Rehema Twalib and managing director Nicomed Bohay last week toured agricultural projects in the lake zone and expressed the need to support even more projects in acquiring agricultural financing for purposes of enhancing production.

The committee toured Kagera Sugar Company which currently provides direct employment to an estimated 10,000 staff while 40,000 are benefiting indirectly.

The Trust, also visited Kahama Fresh Dairy Company situated in Karagwe District, to look into possibilities of supporting the company’s bid for constructing a milk processing plant in the region.

Ashwin Rana, Kagera Sugar CEO while acknowledging the important role played by the trust in supporting agricultural projects in the country said the company was working towards ensuring that it meets its target of producing at least 170,000 metric tonnes of sugar by the year 2025.

“Our ultimate goal is to become the leading sugar producer in Tanzania,” said Rana.

Kahama Fresh on the other hand is venturing into dairy processing with the establishment of a state-of-the-art dairy processing plant already underway in the outskirts of Karagwe town.

“I am already doing fresh milk processing and so this expansion will enable me get into dairy processing thus providing a ready market for most traders in this region,” said Josam Ntagenki, the company CEO.

Speaking during a meeting with members of the Kagera Sugar Out growers Association, Dr Rehema said PASS Trust through its credit guarantee scheme will support such companies in line with the country’s industrialization agenda so that many Tanzanians will be able to benefit from the opportunities created.

 “As a trust, we have the capacity to support you as out growers through our scheme so that you are able to increase production and reach your potential,” she said.

Bohay called on the Sugar Company to ensure they embrace green growth adding that PASS Trust was moving into supporting projects that embrace environmental protection and sustainability.

‘We have to ensure that even as we work hard to produce, our environment must remain safe so that our generations have something to be proud of,” he added.

With at least 14,500 hectares of land under cane production at Kagera Sugar, the company says it is working to ensure these increases to 20,500 hectares by 2022.

The company also boasts of having highly experienced technical skills as well as a motivated workforce with an excellent increasing production track record.

In its credit guarantee support to agricultural entrepreneurs in Tanzania, PASS offers a partial credit guarantee cover to collaborating banks as a means of topping up inadequate collateral to enable clients get financing. PASS provides banks with guarantee ranging from 20-60%, (up to 80% for women) of the loan amount.

PASS beneficiaries can be individuals (SMEs or farmers) or farmer groups, cooperatives and private companies. PASS also offers Business Development services such as feasibility studies, supports development of business plans and conducts training or organisation of farmer groups.

Since inception in the year 2000 until March 2020 (2000 - 31 March 2020), a total of 36,007 projects worth TZS 916.4 Billion shillings have been approved and guaranteed by PASS, with at least 1,196,891 agribusiness Entrepreneurs benefiting from this guarantee. Out of these numbers, more than 45% are women. The beneficiaries are drawn from farmers groups, SACCOS, cooperatives, farmers’ associations, companies, individuals and women groups involved in agribusiness activities.

These beneficiaries have been from various sub sectors that include livestock, crop production, processing, crop trading, mechanization, support to irrigation infrastructures, transportation of agricultural commodities, bee keeping, fish farming as well as inputs trading. Over these years, over 2.5Million jobs have also been created as a result of PASS Credit Guarantee in the various sub sectors.