CRDB Bank has said its total agricultural sector loan reached 1.6tri/- in last three years to June.
The lender said during the climax of Farmers Day that it has thrown its weight on the sector in its bid to upgrade the sector that employs two-thirds of the country's population.
The bank, one of the largest in the land, claimed that the amount of loan dished out propelled it to control 40 per cent of market share for lending agri-sector plus its value addition subsector, leaving 56 lenders to scramble for remaining 60 per cent.
CRDB CEO and Managing Director Abdulmajid Nsekela said they place a high value on the agricultural sector and its contribution to the economic growth of our nation.
"We recognize that agriculture is the backbone for the prosperity and growth of our nation," Mr Nsekela said during the climax of Farmers Day in Bariadi, Simiyu last Saturday.
The lender's agri-sector recognition based on the fact that the industry and its subsector employs 75 per cent of country population, contributes 26 per cent of GDP, produces 95 per cent of nation food basket while produces raw material for industries.
Actually, the bank total loans to main agri-sector reached 707.2bn/- for a year ending June.
CRDB, listed on Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), emerged as the first winner in the category of Banks and Financial Institutions and awarded a trophy for being main sponsors of 2020 NaneNane National Exhibitions held at Nyakabindi grounds in Bariadi, Simiyu.
The loans were directed to agri-inputs, machines, construction of warehouses, industrial investment, financial education to create awareness and empower farmers and connecting the sector with markets.
The 707.2bn/- loan to agri-sector went to sugarcane 167.3bn/-, tobacco 103bn/-, cotton 97bn/-, cereals 89.9bn/-, tea 63.2bn/-, coffee 53bn/- and processing 12.3bn/-.
The CEO said the remaining 59.5bn/- was lent to other strategic crops namely cashew nuts, sisal, livestock, forestry, fisheries, irrigation and meat processing.
The bank also started to implement a new agricultural strategy dubbed "Our Agriculture, Our Industries, Our Economy,"
The strategy aims to provide affordable loans to farmers, and to facilitate industrial investment geared to increasing productivity in agriculture.
Also, provide training to individual farmers or groups to build their capacity to better agri-outputs, save, borrow and pay back loans and finding markets and increasing their exposure and understanding by sending them overseas for training.
CRDB, in its bids to increase agri-outputs, has been collaborating with Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB), PASS, Agriculture Growth Fund (AGF), African Development Bank (AfDB) and Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO).