Tanzania: banks should offer reasonable loan interest for agricultural development
The World Bank recently estimated that the value of food and agricultural markets in Africa could reach US $ 1 trillion per year by 2030.
But, according to current trends, food import spending on the continent will triple by 2022, which begs the question: will African farmers tap into this huge market or will the continent simply continue to grow. be a net food import region?
To take advantage of rapidly growing regional agricultural markets, African countries must invest in the modernization of their agricultural sectors, as Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank pointed out in 2016, while recognizing that the involvement of central banks are crucial in this area. to treat.
Bringing this concept home, Tanzania, blessed with vast fertile arable land and climate, not to mention the peace enjoyed by the nationals, needs to harness the opportunity and focus more on crops.
Now is the time for our farmers to especially grow food crops to feed the countries which still observe lockdown policies due to the pandemic disease. Tanzanians should thank the government for believing that “preached containment” might not only be the solution to fighting the disease, but instead would cause more suffering than the disease itself to citizens.
This leaves our farmers the opportunity to grow many food crops, as previously proposed at the 4th AFRACA (African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association) Central Bank Forum, October 13-14, 2016 in Ghana, where around 150 African central bankers and agricultural sector stakeholders have come together to agree on a radical new direction for banks to be involved in agricultural finance.
To bring the observation home, as previously proposed by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hussein Bashe, it is the financial institutions as actors to support farmers, because only farmers can not do it.
This is because cash flow and savings in rural areas for the majority of households are low and many rural households generally tend to depend on credit for other consumption needs such as education. , food, housing, household functions, which leaves them a small margin to invest. on their farms or fall into the debt traps of traditional pawn shops.
Once they are fully supported by financial institutions, including loans with reasonable interest, training and education on how to use / spend the loans in their operations, their savings would generally be boosted and also increase the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.
Because hunger cannot wait, now is the time for our farmers to start preparing for the looming long rains so that our country has enough surplus food to sell.