AKILIMO agronomy advice tools for cassava farming will be an integral part of the new program by the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank and National Microfinance Bank to finance cassava farmers in Tanzania. The banks have collaboratively issued a loan product worth US $ 1.3 million for 421 cassava farmers affiliated to 43 farmers groups in Handeni district, Tanga region.
All recipients of the loan facility will receive training on the use of the AKILIMO decision support tools and application of the agronomic recommendations provided by the tools. The program was launched in Handeni in 17th June at an event graced by representatives from partnering organizations, government agencies and private sector players.
ACAI project coordinator for Tanzania Freddy Baijukya represented the function to highlight the importance of AKILIMO recommendations in cassava growing. Freddy assured stakeholders of continued support from ACAI and IITA in providing agronomy advice and making the relevant technologies available for farmers to use.
“ We are hoping that using new technologies farmers will increase their production and as a result income and be able to meet the loan obligations.” Said Freddy.
The farmers and bank officials attending the event were introduced to the various formats of the AKILIMO tools that they will be interacting within the coming days. ACAI will organize training sessions with government-affiliated extension agents to prepare the farmers for the planting season.
Among those partnering in the program include farmer groups from Handeni district, National Microfinance Bank, Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB), World vision, Tanzania Cassava Producers and Processors Association (TACCAPA), Cassava Seed Growers Association (CSGA), Kilimo joint and IITA.