Tanzania: FSDT Calls On Farmers to Up Their Game

STAKEHOLDERS in the agriculture sector have been urged to make more concerted effort to enable the sector grow further since it is instrumental in the national economic growth. The call was made here by a cross section of stakeholders who gathered to discuss opportunities and challenges in developing the sector to another level, now that most farmers in the country have access to financial services.

The meeting convened by the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) called a new focus on developing agriculture in the country, focusing on increased value addition. In this aspect, financial institutions such as banks were challenged on how to enable smallholder farmers to add value to their produce or enable them initiate small industries.

Speaking after the meeting, FSDT’s Head of Agriculture and Rural Finance, Mwombeki Baregu, observed that there is need for various partners to further consider contribution of the agriculture sector towards the industrial economy.

He said the discussion was based on opportunities to enable farmers benefit from the existing financial services to expand and improve their productivity. Mr Mwombeki added that there should be policies that help further promote the sector and empower industries that use local agricultural raw products.

“Such strategies are very important as the nation moves towards the upper middle-income economy” he said.

He cited increased access to finances by farmers as one of the successes of working together by different stakeholders to empower farmers through financial inclusion. FSDT’s Operations Director, Irene Mlola noted that the organization played an important role in linking farmers with financial institutions.