Benefits of agriculture bank still mystify farmers

 

 

20/06/ 2010

 

http://www.dailynews.co.tz/feature/?n=10963

By JAFFAR MJASIRI, 20th June 2010 @ 16:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 565

TANZANIA’S 'Agriculture First' theme named in Kiswahili as 'Kilimo Kwanza' that was launched last year by President Jakaya Kikwete, and a government initiative towards prioritizing agriculture, is gaining momentum.

The Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers’ Forum recently brought together in Dar es Salaam farmers from Morogoro, Coast and Dodoma regions, who were reacting to the budget delivered in the Parliament on Thursday.

The farmers have said the budget was encouraging because it reflected a serious political will to promote Kilimo Kwanza in the country. The government has shown its commitment to address the issue of agriculture, but we are afraid that it might be geared towards large scale farming rather than small scale farming, said Ms Marcelina Kibena.

Still, most of the representatives praised both the increase in agriculture budget and the plan to open agriculture bank this year. While the (ESAFF) have praised the government for the 8.1 per cent budget increase in agriculture, they have demanded an explanation as to how agriculture bank is going to be different from other micro-finance banks in order to benefit its members.

“We are waiting for the clarification as the budget session is proceeding in Dodoma, to be enlightened by the government on the conditions of the loan to be extended by the agriculture bank to be opened this financial year,” said Mr Elias Kawea, a small farmer representing Dodoma region.

Reacting to the budget, Ms Marcelina, who represented 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 farmer will benefit out of it.

“We caution that the agriculture bank should be for the small farmers and it should dedicate its services for us so as to benefit our communities and should be accessible at the village level,” she said.

Further, 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 in order to enable them to contain those misusing such funds.

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

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 in order to enable them to contain those misusing such funds.

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

“We are waiting for the clarification as the budget session is proceeding in Dodoma, to be enlightened by the government on the conditions of the loan to be extended by the agriculture bank to be opened in this financial year,” said Mr Elias Kawea a small farmer representing Dodoma region.

Reacting to the budget 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 farmer will benefit out of it.

“We caution that the agriculture bank should be for the small farmers and it should dedicate its services for us so as to benefit our communities and should be accessible at village level,” she said.

He praised the government for its determination to improve agriculture in the country as it was demonstrated in this year’s budget which has seen agriculture budget receiving 8.1 percent of the total budget of 11.1trn/- inline with Kilimo Kwanza policy.

Most small scale farmers live in remote areas of Tanzania where they continue to depend on subsistence farming. They have been affected by climate change and often experience unreliable rainfall.

The establishment of Agriculture bank is giving the small farmers a lot of optimism but they are still not clear whether the loan conditions imposed by microfinance institutions will apply to the loan system to be extended by Agriculture bank.








Warning: mysql_free_result() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/esaff/public_html/esaff_details_view.php on line 106