In Njombe and other Southern highland regions in Tanzania, one of the difficulties faced by farmers and agro-dealers is having enough fertilizers to adequately meet their farming needs.
Agro-dealer Sady Mwang’onda knows far too well these challenges. As much as he and other agro-dealers would want to supply farmers with more fertilizers, they are challenged by various constraints.
“We reached out to financial institutions, such as banks, to obtain loans,” Sady said. “But bank loans require solid guarantees, and interest rates are high. Our company faced huge difficulties getting fertilizers for farmers.”
Today, thanks to the African Development Fund’s support to the Africa Fertilizer Funding Mechanism project, agro-dealers in Tanzania like Sady can meet farmers’ fertilizer demands.
The Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) was created in 2006 and operational in 2015. The mechanism was designed to provide credit guarantees to countries as a tool for de-risking the financing of the fertilizer value chain across the continent to reach the Abuja Declaration target of 50kg of fertilizer use per hectare.
Tanzania imports about 97% of fertilizer used in the country. AFFM is strengthening the country’s fertilizer import and distribution capacity. The program selected six suppliers and 25 agro-dealer trading platforms as direct beneficiaries. The project also benefits 400 retail traders and 500,000 smallholder farmers.
“Now the companies we buy fertilizer from trust us more and give us enough to meet the farmers’ needs,” says Sady.
Sady also took the business management training offered by the project: “We learned the different ways of running a business, how to keep records, how to manage information and business data, and how to make more profit.”
Sady hopes to benefit from other training cycles. He hopes consideration will be given to introducing recycling in the fertilizer industry because, for him, input dealers also have a place in sustainable development.