Mkenda appeals for soft bank loans to youths bent on reforming farming

19Mar 2021
The Guardian
Mkenda appeals for soft bank loans to youths bent on reforming farming

​​​​​​​YOUNG people, who have plunged in the battle to reform Tanzania’s traditional farming, deserve soft loans from banks and other financial institutions to allow them to engage in profitable commercial agriculture.

Agriculture Minister Prof Adolf Mkenda.

This plea was made here by Agriculture Minister Prof Adolf Mkenda, after attending the launch of Kizimba Business Model at SUA.  He told the press that enterprising young people who have chosen to go into serious profitable farming in order to turn round Tanzania’s agriculture sector deserve soft loans banks and other financial institutions.

Kizimba Business Model project has been conceived by the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in a concerted bid to use SUA finalists to lead the way to inclusive and organised commercial farming that will feed raw materials to Tanzania’s budding agro-industries and steadily improve small farmers’ livelihood.  The project is coordinated by the Sokone University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) and it is in its early execution stages in Nzega, Kibiti and Liwale Districts.

Saluting SUA, Prof Mkenda said: “This innovative drive that led to conceiving Kizimba Business Model is something to be emulated by other institution in our effort to make real reforms in the agriculture sector. Agriculture contributes 28 percent to gross domestic profit (GDP).” 

The minister called on Tanzanians to value and seized training opportunities offered by SUA and SUGECO to be able to take part fully and successfully in reforming Tanzania’s agriculture.

Retired Permanent Secretary to the Agriculture Ministry, Peniel Lyimo, also praised the initiative championed by SUGECO and said the nation now should look at the agriculture sector in a ‘unique vision’.  “Agriculture needs funding like other economic sectors. However, compared with other sectors, agriculture has inherent risks more than other sectors. Agriculture calls for huge funding in order to succeed; that is the reason why the government has started the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB),” he said.

SUA Vice-Chancellor Professor Raphael Chibunda, pledged unreserved cooperation with the ministry of agriculture in reforming Tanzania’s traditional farming so that Tanzanian farmers gradually embrace business farming initiatives.

SUA, he explained, has its own demonstration farms that are promoting business farming. He also reported that SUGECO has trained more than 100 young people in business farming skills.