CRDB Bank has developed a digital system for ordering and distributing fertilizer, warranting smooth delivery of subsidised inputs to farmers.
The lender, one of the largest in the land, joined hands with the government to assist the Ministry of Agricultur digitalise the distribution of subsidised fertiliser under the Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority (TFRA).
Thus, President Samia Suluhu Hassan praised the bank for its innovative drive in support of government’s efforts to transform the agri-sector in the country.
“I applaud CRDB for collaborating with the government to make this system a success, because I believe it will bring about a major agricultural transformation in the country,” Ms Samia said at the climax of the farmers’ fair in Mbeya on Monday.
The bank has been at the forefront in ensuring that it cooperates with both Union and Isles governments and stakeholders in the agricultural, fishery, livestock, forestry, business and industrial sectors.
CRDB Managing Director, Mr Abdulmajid Nsekela, said the bank dished out 769bn/- loans in the agri-sector in 2021/2022, where the big chunk was loaned to farming, fishing, livestock, agri-processing factories and forest-related products and distribution chain.
“In total, more than 43 per cent of all loans for the agricultural sector in this country originated from CRDB,” Mr Nsekela said.
In the last five years until June, CRDB had issued 2.6tri/-in loans to the agricultural sector and was the first in the country to cut down the interest rates for agri-loan to a single-digit of 9.0 per cent.
CRDB is focused on ensuring farmers are accessing affordable fertiliser loans by making sure there is a steady supply of imported fertiliser at a low cost.
“Most of the fertiliser imported to the country comes from the facilitation of CRDB,” Mr Nsekela further said.
The bank has also designed a procedure for importing farm inputs through a letter of credit, where importers can access special agri-loan at 2.0 per cent in terms of dollars and 4.0 per cent in shillings.
The government recently announced the allocation of 150bn/- to subsidise fertiliser in its bid to reduce the input costs at the market.
Also, Bank of Tanzania has set aside 1.0tri/- for commercial banks to access and enable them to issue affordable agriculture-related financing.