M a r k e t N e w s

Tanzania: Smallholder Farmers Set to Benefit From $25 Million Scheme

Posted on : Thursday, 28th July 2016

Dar es Salaam — Smallholder farmers in Tanzania are set to benefit from a $25 million (about Sh55 billion) new Agriculture Finance (AgriFin) programme launched here yesterday.

 
The programme is a brainchild of Mercy Corps and the MasterCard Foundation.
 
It seeks to improve smallholder farmers' access to financial and information services.
 
The initiative will run for six years. It is expected to benefit at least one million smallholder farmers in three countries.
 
"The programme will boost access to digital financial and informational services for at least one million farmers in Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia," said the programme director with Mercy Corps, Ms Leesa Shrader.
 
She said the programme would work with smallholder farmers and diverse actors to understand factors that affect their access to and use of digital financial and information services.
 
Data shows that 78 per cent of the country's population is engaged in or derives its livelihood from agriculture-related activities, as in many developing countries. However, the demand for agricultural financing largely remains unmet.
 
A senior programme manager for the MasterCard Foundation, Mr Mark Wensley, said the project would seek to simplify smallholder farmers' access to digital financial services and markets. It will also strengthen their capacity and skills to utilise digital information.
 
He said new technologies and advances in mobile banking, as well as the increasing integration of smallholder farmers into better organised value chains, can promote solutions and affordable delivery channels. The national chairperson of the Tanzania Network of Farmers Groups (Mviwata), Ms Veronica Sophu, asked the government and other key stakeholders to join them in addressing the barriers likely to face agriculture.

Source : allafrica.com
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