Smallholder farmers in Tanzania dominate the agricultural sector, cultivating 5.1m hectares annually, of which 85% is food crops.
They contribute to over 75% of total agricultural outputs in Tanzania, producing mainly for home consumption, and using traditional technologies.
Smallholder families in Tanzania primarily grow food and staple crops. Maize is the most commonly grown staple crop, followed by beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, and rice.
Tanzania Smallholder Farmers and Financial Services
According to a national survey on smallholders by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), only 10% of Tanzanian smallholder households have a bank account registered in their name.
Nearly half of smallholder farmers report they do not have or use accounts at full-service banking institutions because the institutions did not offer them loans.
Meanwhile, 75% of smallholders say they have heard of mobile money and 97% of those understand the benefits of mobile money.
32% of those who are aware of mobile money are saving money for a long-term purpose and only 10% make business transactions with mobile money.
To close the gap in access to financial and information services experienced by smallholder farmers, Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian agency located in the U.S., launched the USD25m AgriFin Accelerate program.
AgriFin Accelerate will operate in Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia over the next 6 years. The program is expected to benefit at least 1m smallholder farmers.
To achieve this, the program will work with smallholder farmers to understand barriers to the access and use of digital financial and information services.
Consequently, it will develop appropriate solutions and work to implement them with relevant stakeholders.