VP lauds Agro-bank for timely addressing sunflower hiccups

18Feb 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
VP lauds Agro-bank for timely addressing sunflower hiccups

VICE President, Samia Suluhu Hassan has commended the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) for assisting the smallholder farmers in addressing challenges facing the sunflower growers in the country.

Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan presents a dummy cheque for 1.28bn/-, being a Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank loan issued to Singida Cooperative Union at the weekend. Receiving the cheque is the union’s deputy registrar, Thomas Nyamba ((2nd-R), as SCU chairman Yahya Ramadhan (R) and TADB officer Augustino Chacha (3rd-R) look on. Photo: Guardian Correspondent

Vice President made the remark when handing over the dummy cheque of loan amounting 1.285 billion/- issued by TADB to seven Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Societies (AMCOS) of sunflower growers in Singida.

Speaking during the handing over ceremony in Itigi township, Manyoni District, VP appealed to loan beneficiaries to utilise fund that aimed to support edible oil production in the country for increasing productivity ultimately to address the challenges of oil shortage in the country.

VP used the opportunity to direct Singida Cooperatives Deputy Registrar to make closer follow up on approved is utilized through the intended purposes and its repayment is made in due time in order for other smallholder farmers benefited from TADB’s concessional loans.

"I appeal to you to utilise the loan according to the terms entered and make timely repayment to enable other farmers in the country to utilize such loans in order to increase our agricultural production," she added.

On her part, Singida Regional Commissioner, Dr. Rehema Nchimbi said the   loans will facilitate availability of raw material for 144 processing industries, which are current available in the region.

"We are thankful for the TADB for issuing this loan for the seven AMCOS that will increase productivity of sunflower in region ultimately contribute to the availability of our processors’ raw materials," she said.

On the other hand, the representative of TADB's managing director, Augustino Matutu Chacha, said that during the 2018/2019 season, the bank approved a total of 3,506billion/- for Singida Region alone, where 1.285billion/- is earmarked to 458 farmers under seven AMCOS and remaining 2.221billion/- for the construction of the Sunflower Factory Plant that will be built in Manyoni District.

"We recognize the Sunflower as one of the most strategic crop for our nation's economy and especially for the most productive regions of the region including the Singida Region,” he said.

He added that the sunflower has a great opportunity to integrate the nation into foreign currency and is also a source of employment for over 300,000 people, “he added.

He added that the Bank's strategy is to continue to help farmers increase the quality of sunflower production as well as helping local industries obtain raw materials from these farmers produces.

One of the loan beneficiaries, who is a vice-chairman of Singida Farmers’ Association, Yahya Ramadhan said that the coming of the Agricultural Bank has brought back the hopes sunflower farmers in Singida, which lost about eight years ago due to lack of funding for the purchase of agricultural input.

"This loan has definitely reimbursed farmers' attention as it guarantees access to agricultural input and timely tools," he said.