The Tanzania Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS) plans to reach 345,000 agricultural entrepreneurs with TZS114b guaranteed loans in 2016.
PASS is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which assists farmers to access loan facilities for viable investments through appraisal of loan write ups in line with specific bank’s terms and conditions.
Nicomed Bohay, PASS Managing Director, explained that the organization will help maize farmers Songea, Mbeya, Iringa, Morogoro, Dodoma, Manyara and Arusha, to increase their productivity by facilitating access to farm inputs.
For this, PASS will partner with the World Food Program (WFP). Under the arrangement, 50,000 farmers will receive loans with priority given to active supply-side players, Bohay said.
PASS has assisted farmers in Njombe to significantly improve their maize production thanks to increased access to loans for agricultural inputs.
Joseph Sauka, Secretary at the Njombe Farmers Association commented: “We used to harvest between 5 and 6 bags of maize per acre. The association members have this year harvested up to 36 bags of maize per acre. This has transformed our livelihood into better due to earnings increase.”
Jordan Mwapinga, a Njombe farmer, said PASS has helped him to change method of farming from using hand hoe into modern one, saying he has purchased a tractor to facilitate farming after receiving loan amounting TZS132m last year thanks to the NGO.
“Previously, I could only borrow up to TZS10m. But thanks to PASS I can now borrow up to TZS100m for agricultural inputs,” he said.