Speaking in Dar es Salaam this week during a memorandum of understanding with PASS Trust to provide financing to agribusiness enterprises, Equity Bank Tanzania’s Managing Director, Robert Kiboti said Agriculture being the backbone of the country’s economy has a lot of potential to unleash.
“At Equity Bank, agriculture is our priority area, and we are targeting agriculture loans to read at 30 percent of our general loan portfolio. We are delighted to join forces with PASS Trust to facilitate access to agricultural financing by agribusiness entrepreneurs in Tanzania,” Kiboti said.
He pointed out that the regional bank’s mission is to ensure that a wide range of agribusiness small and medium enterprises have access to financial solutions at all value chain stages, from production to the market places.
“On the other hand, PASS Trust’s objective is to facilitate access to financial and business development services for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Tanzania. These combined missions will undoubtedly bring out the best results as far as access to finance for agribusinesses is concerned,” he noted.
Kiboti added that Agriculture is an important sector for the country’s economy, with over 75 percent of the working population relying on the industry for food security while also contributing up to 27 percent of gross domestic product and 30 percent of foreign currency earnings.
“It is, therefore, crucial for us to continue providing financial platforms that will see more agri-SMEs access affordable financial support that will ultimately contribute to the transformation of agriculture, the economy, and lives of Tanzanians,” the Equity Bank MD added.
Among other things, the MoU with Private Agricultural Sector Support Trust to allows the bank to disburse loans to agribusinesses in the country to build capacities and increase productivity. The targeted agribusiness entrepreneurs include individuals, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), large enterprises, Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), and associations which will receive low-cost loans backed by the PASS Trust Credit Guarantee Scheme.
In remarks at the signing ceremony, PASS Trust Managing Director, Yohane Kaduma hailed the enhanced partnership with Equity Bank terming it as an excellent opportunity for agribusiness entrepreneurs in the country.
“The entry of Equity Bank into PASS’ pool of collaborating financial institutions brings to 14 the number of banks that PASS Trust is working with in enabling access to agricultural credit through the PASS Guarantee Scheme,” Kaduma said.
“And we invite even more financial institutions to join this pool of PASS’ collaborating banks so that many more Tanzanians engaged […]