State-owned Agriculture Bank to further expand Tanzania’s GDP
Tanzania is looking to ensure economic stability at a time of impressive economic growth by investing Sh800 billion ($380 million) in a new state-run agriculture bank. The investment which will be spread over eight years is aimed at boosting growth in the critical sector, whose growth has been subdued by lack of funds and low productivity.
“Around 75 percent of Tanzanians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and the sector contributes to 25 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 34 percent of the country’s export earnings,” President Jakaya Kikwete said while launching the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) on Friday.
The United Republic of Tanzania has the second largest economy in East Africa, and the Twelfth largest in Africa. A great contributor to this is its agricultural sector, which accounts for 24.5 percent of the country’s GDP and over half of the employed workforce. The country had relied heavily on this sector to drive its economy, but despite its importance, not much focus has been on it in the past.
The new bank will, therefore, help to modernize Agriculture in Tanzania and boost productivity through access to all forms of financing. A statement by Kikwete said that the bank will focus on the production of maize, sugarcane, rice, oilseeds, meat, dairy and poultry. TADB will also target horticulture, fish farming and bee-keeping.
Investment in its Agricultural sector is expected to further expand Tanzania’s GDP which increased by 32 percent in 2013 to 69.8 trillion shillings after the East African nation incorporated new sectors in its calculation, including massive gas discoveries. Tanzania’s economy has been estimated by the International Monetary Fund to grow by more than 7 percent.
To ensure a smooth take-off, the Tanzanian government has provided 60 billion shillings in seed capital for TADB.
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