THE Ministry of Agriculture targets to lower agri-related loan interest rate to less than 10 per cent to boost the sector and uplift people’s wellbeing.
The ministry said great strides had been made after the average rate dropped from 22 per cent to current 13 per cent and the goal was to see farmers were lent low interest loans.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe said the government continued creating a friendly environment for agri-service providers to enable them to do their businesses in a friendly environment.
“Our intention is to see the agricultural sector grow and make adequate contribution by ensuring that only low interest loans are issued to farmers,” Mr Bashe said. He was accompanied by Tabora regional commissioner to launch Yara Action Africa, a free fertiliser campaign. The deputy minister congratulated Yara on working closely with farmers and boosting the agricultural sector.
Mr Bashe said farmers in Tabora Region should register themselves with Action Africa Programme to access free manure. However, he warned them not to misuse the donation, saying stern measure would be taken against those violating the regulations.
Yara Tanzania launched Action Africa at the weekend to help small-scale farmers by providing free fertilisers. The programme targets to reach over 83,000 farmers-especially those cultivating rice and maize.
Launching the programme in Nzega, Tabora Region, the regional commissioner, Dr Philemon Sengati, commended Yara for the plan, saying it would ensure smallholder farmers utilised modern techniques to cultivate quality crops and contribute to the country’s development.
“The amount set aside for the programme to help farmers is great and will make a significant contribution to the agricultural sector,” said Dr Sengati.
Yara set aside 12,500 tonnes of fertilisers, YaraMila Cereal worth 16.5bn/- for the plan.
Yara has been one of the important stakeholders in the development of the agricultural sector in Tabora by working closely with the government and other stakeholders.
Yara Tanzania CEO Winstone Odhiambo said the initiative aimed at promoting maize and rice production and ensure food security in the country.
Ms Veronica Shija, who is a smallholder farmer in Ijanija Ward, thanked Yara Tanzania for supporting smallholder farmers and enabling them to get free fertilisers and quality seeds at affordable prices.