Mwanza. The Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) yesterday handed over 50 tractors valued at Sh2.7 billion to 50 primary agricultural marketing cooperative societies (Amcos) as it seeks to boost cotton production in the Lake Zone.
The tractors have been secured on loan arrangements by the cooperatives.
TADB acting managing director Japhet Justine said the move was part of the bank’s agricultural mechanisation strategy. It is part of the role that the state-owned bank should play under the 2nd phase of Tanzania’s Agricultural Sector Development Plan (ASDP 2).
Mr Justine said TADB is tasked to improve agricultural efficiency by giving loans and loan equipment to farmers in time and gradually pull farmers from extensive use of hoes.
Hoes are the main agricultural implements of Tanzanian smallholder farmers. Farmers, he said, must unite in primary cooperatives to enable the bank to coordinate well and make safe repayment of loans given to farmers.
A member of the Tanzania Cotton Board, Mr Marco Mtunga, said TADB credit facility offered to 600,000 cotton growers in the current season explains the 221,600 tonnes of cotton harvested in the present harvesting season, representing a 67 per cent rise from the 2017/18 harvesting season in which farmers harvested 133,000 tonnes.
“We appreciate the support cotton farmers are getting from the TADB and we are thankful for that support. That support is making the needed difference,” he said.