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April 02, 2008

Tanzanian firm secures loan for barley, wheat production

The Tanzanian firm H.H. Mosha and Company Ltd has secured a $1 million loan from Bank M (Tanzania) Ltd to produce barley and wheat for export and local consumption.

The funding will enable the firm to acquire more farming equipment to work its 1,300 hectares of land as well as planting over 10,000 trees around its two farms — Matadi and Olmolok — to boost environmental conversation. Henry Mosha, managing director of H.H. Mosha, said the investment will enable the farm to increase its barley and wheat output to about four tonnes per hectare.

Mr Mosha said financial institutions ought to help the agricultural sector step up production since the sector has lagged behind largely because many farmers lack the necessary inputs to run their farms commercially. He said his farm produces a total of 1,300 tonnes of wheat and barley, but can easily double production.

Wheat is present cultivated on only 144,000 hectares of land, which is under partial or full-scale irrigation. Potential irrigatable land is estimated at 933,000 hectares. The country needs more than 60,000 tonnes of barley annually to meet the demands of the local beer brewing industry.

Sibu Kalyango, head of Bank M’s credit risk division, said the bank has allocated a share of its loan portfolio to the agricultural sector . “The Tanzanian economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and we’re determined to give special emphasis to the sector; we have resolved that by our third year of operations, we should have set aside 25 per cent of our loan portfolio for the agricultural sector,” he added.

Jimmy Mosha, deputy managing director of H.H. Mosha Farm, said his company needs more than $2 million to go into full irrigation and buy new equipment to produce enough wheat and barley to satisfy the country’s demand.

He said the two farms were currently producing five bags per hectare, but had the potential to produce up to 10 bags per hectare.

The East African

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