BUCHOSA fishermen in Mwanza Region have been thrown a lifeline by Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) with 100.7m/-credit to help them stay afloat and expand their business to regional market.
The beneficiaries belong to Zilagula Fishing Cooperative Society in Buchosa District and will use the credit facility to purchase better fishing tools so as to boost their productivity, reduce fish loss and raise fish supply to regional markets in Burundi and DR Congo.
The Deputy Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Abdallah Ulega handed over a dummy cheque of 100.7 million to Mr Joram Yuda, Chairman of Zilagula Fishing Cooperative Society at Kanyara Village in Bushosa District on Saturday.
He also issued registration certificates to seven cooperative societies formed along with other three cheques totalling 15m/- to the three organisations as the money provided by the Buchosa District Council to support the fishermen.
“I congratulate TADB for their continued cooperation and dedication to support development of fishing subsector. I wish when I come next time, I should hand over 500m/-cheques and more,” the Deputy Minister said.
He instructed the fishermen to continue forming cooperative societies so that they could be easily supported to improve productivity that is in the whole fishing value chain.
“We must be proud of our achievements, since fishing sub-sector contributes 1.7 to 2 percent in the country’s GDP and the target is 5 percent and that is why we are here today, and we will keep supporting you,” he said.
The TADB Managing Director, Japhet Justine said the credit facility to the Zilagula fishing cooperative society was just a beginning to their support to fishermen in cooperative societies to boost development in the fishing sub-sector.
“Through joint efforts with the ministry and the Buchosa District, we have begun lending to the Zilagula fishing cooperative society. We believe these loans will stimulate more production and facilitate the processing activities of fish as the domestic and international market is huge and existing,” he said.
“Nevertheless, government's efforts of penetrating Tanzania’s goods in the global market is phenomenal, there are planes flying from Mwanza International Airport flying fish products to European markets.”
The Executive Director of Buchosa Council, Chrispin Luanda said they had a goal of forming at least 10 fishermen cooperative societies so that fishermen could easily be empowered.
The District Administrative Secretary, Mr Allan Agustine said that, the district is estimated to have 20,080 fishermen and the process of forming more cooperative societies was on-going.
“We are very pleased with this initiative and we as a council support the effort by empowering our fishermen, with 15m/-we believing that they will help further in fishing activities,” said the Buchosa council's Cooperative Officer, Martin Kimisha.