LED by the bank’s Managing Director, Mr Japhet Justine, a team of officials from the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) is on a strategic tour of the southern regions to roll out an ambitious plan to unlock potentials in agricultural production in the regions.
At a meeting with Tunduru District Commissioner (DC), Julius Mtatiro yesterday, the agri bank revealed its plans to support the expansion of the district’s capacity for cashew production and also support sesame and beekeeping projects.
Currently, the district produces about 18 metric tons of cashews per season which generate between 60bn/-to 70bn/-in revenues.
To facilitate expansion of cashew production, Mr Justine expressed the bank’s commitment to support rehabilitation of existing cashew farms and finance establishment of new farms, in pursuit of the block farming model which targets to benefit hundreds of farmers.
On sesame, the agri-lender has agreed to extend financing support to scale the production of the crop in the district and facilitate market linkages of its farmers in Tunduru within the bank’s ecosystem of commodities off-take.
The potential for expansion of sesame production in Tanzania is rooted in growing demand of the crop in India and markets in the South East Asia region.
Production is targeted to involve farms in 170 schools and a number of AMCOS in the district with support to develop farm infrastructure and mechanisation.
Additional to the ambitious plans is a beekeeping project which is planned for piloting 20,000 beehives.
The project is expected to offer invaluable lessons and unpack opportunities for development of forest resources and products inTunduru.
Currently, TADB has supported over 450 cashew farmers in the district with loans worth 500m/-facilitated by the Smallholder Farmers’ Guarantee Scheme (SCGS) and supported payments of over 99 per cent of farmers for cashews sold in the 2018/19 season.