Tanzania: The government welcomes the adoption of a trust for the support of the agricultural sector

THE government has commended the Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS) Trust for supporting the agricultural sector in its efforts to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the country.

Kagera Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Prof. Faustin Kamuzora made the remarks on Friday while addressing agricultural value chain actors including financial institutions during a meeting held at Bukoba Municipal Council .

“On behalf of the government, I commend the Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS) Trust and the governments of Denmark and Sweden for supporting agricultural finance in efforts to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the country.

I also call on PASS Trust and PASS Leasing Company, who have been very instrumental in providing credit guarantees to farmers, to ensure that coffee farmers are also supported to access finance. We appreciate the good work of the Trust. This is a great achievement for the agriculture sector in Tanzania,” he said.

He explained that lack of capital was among the major challenges facing farmers in the country, adding that the intervention of the Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS) Trust was timely and highly commendable.

He assured investors that the Kagera region was ripe for investment with attractive weather conditions and improved infrastructure, adding that his office was open 24 hours a day and ready to assist them.

The Managing Director of PASS (MD), Mr. Yohane Kaduma, informed him that the Danish and Tanzanian governments are the founders of PASS Trust, which was established in 2000 as a project under the Ministry of Agriculture. In 2007 the Trust was registered as a stand-alone entity.

He explained that the PASS provides partial credit guarantee coverage of between 20 and 60 percent to collaborating banks to supplement insufficient collateral for customers to obtain financing.

“Over 1.7 million agribusiness entrepreneurs have benefited from PASS Trust credit financing at 1.3 tri/- since 2002, while over 2.6 million people have accessed to jobs through the PASS credit guarantee scheme,” he noted.

He explained that at least 31% of all agricultural loans in the country were offered to beneficiaries by financial institutions through the PASS digital credit guarantee system.

The PASS Leasing Company, launched in July 2021 by former Minister of Agriculture, Professor Adolf Mkenda, is already reaching out to the Tanzanian farming community by offering lease finance at competitive prices.

According to Kaduma, the company, which is wholly owned by the Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS) Trust, offers unique services and products aimed at protecting contractors against traditional collateral requirements.

“The beneficiary targets are primarily small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including smallholder farmers in agricultural value chains who have traditionally been marginalized,” he said.

Lana T. Arthur