Women urge lenders to have agriculture loan package
Anastazia Madeje from Dodoma Region, Secretary of the Smallholder Women Farmers Forum (SWFF), said this during the just-concluded one-day virtual call meeting on “How the media can build accountability and accountability. ‘Using Biennial Review Results’ – Countdown to BR 3 launch organized by ActionAid Tanzania.
“We are asking the bank to present us with a new package as access to financial services will allow us to purchase the necessary inputs and equipment for agriculture, which will help Tanzania meet the commitments of the Malabo Declaration. and increase food security,” she said.
At present, the platforms of women engaged in the agricultural sector find it difficult to access funds for agricultural activities in Chamwino district, their economic situation is not good.
As a result, they still use traditional methods (hand hoes) in farmland, which leads to lower productivity and income.
‘When we go to the district council to access loans, they just tell us that we don’t give loans to people engaged in agricultural activities because farming is not a business, citing risks such as pests, birds, rodents, diseases, weeds and the like,” she said
She said that as Tanzania implements the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) through the Malabo Declaration, there is a need for the government to have a face-to-face discussion with the banks. to see how they will help smallholder farmers to fully benefit from access to these services.
“The government should take serious action on this because once you empower women, you help the community to reduce poverty, improve livelihoods and is the most effective strategy to ensure well-being and security. health of children as well as the long-term success of developing economies,” she said.
She said women use loans properly for planned activities and repay banks on time than men.
Currently, Chamwino District provides loans to women entrepreneurs and others engaged in other sectors.
According to her, the financial institutions or banks should come up with the new packages that cater to the specific needs in general, especially women farmers in rural areas.
She said that if financial institutions fail to introduce a new package for women’s groups, the government can support women’s platforms engaged in agricultural activities in terms of inputs such as tiller, tractor and other agricultural tools to help meet the commitments of the Malabo declaration.
Smallholder Women Farmers Forum (SWFF) Councilor Fredina Saidi from Shinyanga Region said, “The government should increase public spending on agriculture in line with the CAADP target of 10% of the national budget to help farmers to have modern irrigation systems, fight against climate change. change and support agricultural extension agents to carry out their work in an enabling environment to meet the Malabo commitments.
The Deputy Director of Service Delivery and Local Government Governance, Angelista Kihaga, noted that even women’s platforms or groups engaged in agricultural activities are qualified to obtain loans from the district council.
The loans specifically target women, youth and people with disabilities, in accordance with needs and requests and are issued without collateral and without interest.
He called on the district council to provide loans to women’s farming groups because what they grow is science-based and important for promoting food security.