ABN – The Tanzanian government has invested Sh800 billion (US$380 million) in a new, state-run agriculture bank in an effort to ensure long-term economic stability.
The investment is targeted to boost growth in the agriculture sector, which has recently suffered due to low funds and low productivity.
President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete launched the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) with a speech emphasising the importance of agriculture to the country.
He said: “Around 75% of Tanzanians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and the sector contributes to 25% of our gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 34% of the country’s export earnings.”
By giving farmers access to finance, it is hoped that the TADB will help modernise the agriculture industry and boost productivity.
The bank will focus on the production of maize, sugarcane, rice, oilseeds, meat, dairy and poultry, but will also target horticulture, fish farming and bee keeping.