Daily News | Farmers want clarification on proposed agricultural bank





Daily News | Farmers want clarification on proposed agricultural bank


By JAFFAR MJASIRI, 12th June 2010 @ 12:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 248

THE Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers' Forum (ESAFF) has demanded an explanation as to how the agricultural bank would differ from other micro-finance banks to benefit its members.

"We are waiting for the clarification while the budget session is proceeding in Dodoma, to be enlightened by the government on the conditions of the loans," said Mr Elias Kawea, a small farmer representing Dodoma region and a Regional Board member of ESAFF.

"The agriculture bank to be opened during this financial year should not be based on the same principle of high interest rates, which is prohibitive to small farmers," he added.

The forum held on Friday in Dar es Salaam, brought together farmers from Morogoro, Coast and Dodoma regions, who were reacting to the budget that was delivered to the Parliament on Thursday.

Ms Marcelina representing small farmers in Mvomero, Morogoro region said that it would be better for the whole process of establishing a bank to take into consideration its network in villages and how the ordinary farmers will benefit from it.

"The agriculture bank should be for small farmers and should dedicate its services to us, it should be accessible at the village level," she said.

ESAFF has also vowed to make a close follow-up on budget planning, implementation and evaluation of the local government expenditures.

The Representative from Chamwino, Dodoma, Mr Apollo Chamwela told reporters at the conference that it was crucial for the government to inform and educate small farmers on the procedures of issuing subsidies to the farmers, to enable them to contain those misusing such funds.

Since the agricultural budget has increased to 8.1 per cent of the total budget for this year which stands at 11.1trn/-, there should be strict supervision on its expenditure at the village and district level, he added.

The forum praised the government for its decision to improve agriculture in the country as it was demonstrated in this year's budget.

Representatives from various regions said that they were impressed by this year's budget due to the weight given to agriculture.

It is the number four in priority and has been allocated 8.1 per cent of the total budget of 11.1trn/- in line with 'Kilimo Kwanza' policy. Last year it was only 6 per cent, they said

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