News dalla rete ITA

7 Febbraio 2018



Over 150,000 horticultural farmers, exporters and other players in the industry will benefit from credit guarantees from Private Agricultural Sector Support (Pass). This was announced here on Friday by Jacquline Mkindi, the executive director of the Tanzania Horticultural Association (Taha) after signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two bodies. "What Taha will do is to identify the farmers, capacity building for them, mobilization of formal entities, marketing and provide logistical support services", she said during the signing ceremony. Pass will extend credit guarantees from the banks to buyers of the farmers' produce, agro dealers as well as offer bankable business plans to enterprises involved in the horticultural industry. Ms. Mkindi said access to credit has been one of the main challenges facing the sub-sector, despite its fast growth in the last 15 years. She added that Taha is now focusing on empowering the youth and small holder farmers boosting horticultural production as well as application of new technologies. She could not give figures on the projected credits but said there was no expiry date for the project, one of several reached by the association with loan facilities to boost production. According to the CEO, horticulture registered an eleven per cent growth in the last five years and that projected export revenue for 1918 is expected to hit $ 700 million. "We are seeing more investments in the sub-sector. More youths are going into horticultural farming", she said, noting that new technologies will improve productivity. Pass managing director Nicomed Bohay said the facility has guaranteed loans from the banks amounting to over Sh. 400 billion to nearly 700 projects in agriculture and allied sectors until last year. Until end of 2017, the outstanding loans, mainly from farmers and agricultural enterprises, amounted to Sh160 billion. Pass is already working with 14 local commercial banks. "We are here to link the farmer with the banks," he said noting that the facility has established a Credit Access Fund with Sh114 billion in the kitty to support the farmers in the whole agricultural sector, livestock and fisheries. Projections made recently indicate horticultural produce exports will hit $ 1.3 billion in three to five years' time if the current production trend is sustained. The sub-sector generated $642 million in export revenues in 2016, a sharp rise from $ 64 million ten years ago and $383 million in 2012. Horticulture contributed 43 per cent of the agricultural exports in 2016 and has overtaken other key sectors of the economy to become third in registering fast growth after tourism and the service sector. The sub-sector was directly and indirectly employing two and a half million people, with a potential to assist in poverty reduction efforts. About a half of 6.2 million tonnes of the horticulture produce is air freighted to markets abroad; 20 per cent through Kenya while 30 and 20 per cent is routed through the Julius Nyerere and Kilimanjaro international airports respectively. Horticultural crops from Tanzania are cut flowers, mostly grown in the northern regions of Arusha and Kilimanjaro, vegetables, fruits and spices, the latter now largely cultivates in the coastal and southern zones. (ICE ADDIS ABEBA)