THE Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) yesterday handed over 50 tractors worth 2.7bn/- to 50 primary marketing cooperative societies (AMCOS) to increase cotton production in the Lake Zone.
The tractors have been secured on a loan by the cooperatives to bolster cotton production in conformity with requirements outlined in the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (Phase II).
Handing over the tractors, TADB Acting Managing Director, Japhet Justine, said the tractors were part of a TADB’s strategy to support mechanised agriculture in Tanzania.
“These tractors will enable farmers to increase acreage. If best practices in cotton production are observed crop yield will increase,” he said.
He said helping farmers access requisite tractors on loan was the bank’s duty in the implementation of the ASDP-II so that farmers got bumper harvest to sell local industries, adding that Tanzania’s agro-industries would work efficiently, when they would receive continually good raw materials from Tanzanian farmers.
Mainland Tanzania wants to become a middle-income nation with an industrial economy by 2025. Mr Justine said TADB was tasked to improve efficiency in agriculture by issuing loans and farm implements to farmers in time and gradually make them replace hand hoes with modern farming equipment.
Hoes are the main agricultural implements for Tanzanian small-scale farmers. “Farmers must unite in primary cooperatives to enable the bank to coordinate well repayment of loans given to farmers.”
“We appreciate the support cotton farmers have received from TADB. It will make a difference in the lives of farmers,” said a member of the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB), Mr Marco Mtunga.
Ms Amina Makoma, a cotton grower, thanked the government for helping them to increase production in cotton growing areas. She said farmers’ incomes had been increasing every season.
TADB in recent months has been praised by farmers and top government leaders for being working closely with stakeholders. The bank has been helping and following up farmers so that they may have first- hand experience.