Moshi. Kilimanjaro Cooperative Bank Ltd (KCBL) has managed to give cash loans worth Sh28 billion to coffee farmers since it introduced a warehouse receipt system in 2002.
The bank, which is owned 100 percent by the indigenous and is the first cooperative bank in the country, was launched in 1996 by the retired president of the third phase administration, Benjamin Mkapa.
Speaking over the bank’s achievements, the KCBL General Manager, Mr Joseph Kingazi said the loans were dished out in the 2016/2017 farming season to the farmers of coffee, which is the main cash crop.
“KCBL has been the first to establish a warehouse receipt system. Currently the system has spread and is being used in various places, particularly in the areas of cotton and cashew cultivation,” he said.
According to Mr Kingazi, the bank has 245 shareholders that are Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS), Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) and 307 individuals. The bank provides services in six districts.
The General Manager said KCBL was now readjusting itself to increase the rate of loans to various sectors such as agriculture, petty businesses, tourism and construction after the achievements.
For his part, the General Manager of Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU), Honest Temba, said the bank had a great contribution to improving the lives of the farmers.
“You know not many banks give loans to farmers, but KCBL has been at the forefront of giving loans to coffee farmers and it is a big pillar of development in this sector,” he said.
One of the bank’s clients, Avit Maningi, said despite KCBL’s efficiency in the provision of banking services, its leadership should consider reducing the interest rate to enable many farmers to take loans.