Unlike most financial institutions that have been running away from financing pastoralists on grounds that they have no permanent residences, Yetu Microfinance bank PLC had started giving loans to pastoralists in Morogoro region.
The Bank Managing Director, Altemius Millinga told this paper recently that the bank conducted a re-search in various villages in Malinyi district, Morogoro region and realised that pastoralists are bankable.
“In our research we came across three groups of people, the first group was cattle owners who are head of the families, second group was keepers who most of the time are members of the families and another group is pastoralists.
The Managing Director explained that pastoralists like many other groups in the community they also take loans but they have two challenges, first lack of financial education and secondly most of them are illiterate.
Following those issues, Yetu Microfinance Bank PLC educate the pastoralists and start giving loans to fifty pastoralists in Malinyi district from minimum of Sh 2 million to 10 million in October this year. The bank has a target of giving loans to maximum of 5,000 pastoralists.
The main objective of the loans was for pastoralists to practice modern cattle keeping contrary to what they are doing at the moment. Speaking on the issue of illiteracy among pastoralists he said that “the Bank has fully taken on-board technology as a tool for financial inclusion. Through technology we are able to serve rural communities and low income people who are not comfortable in reading and writing. Technologies we have embraced so far include mobile banking, ATM, POS for account opening, Digital loans and Bio-metric teller system.”
Yetu Microfinance Bank PLC is known for its unique and distinct way of creating a conducive banking environment, where the expectations of stakeholders, customers and employees can be fulfilled.
They are known for helping customers to achieve success in economic, financial security and making the world a better place to live in. All these, were able to achieve by creating a platform where employees can learn, grow and be fulfilled in their work.
In return, Millinga said as a bank, their strength lies in the team’s ability and commitment serve the unbanked and under banked Tanzanians in rural and urban areas of Tanzania.
For many years since its establishment the bank has been giving loans to farmers, individuals, small groups of people and other members of the community in the country.
Tanzania is a low-income rural economy, with livestock contributing 30% to agricultural value added and 7% to GDP. Poverty incidence is at 39%, 63.2% of rural poor own livestock, and 99% of the livestock stock is in the hands of small farmers and pastoralists.
In the medium to long-term, livestock will continue to play a central role in Tanzanian rural economy, and its development could contribute both to the growth of the rural sector and to poverty reduction.
The current development objective for the rural sector is to create an enabling and conducive market environment for improving profitability of agriculture and livestock, so as to improve incomes and reduce rural poverty. Concerns are that the liberalization thrust appears to bypass the poor livestock keepers, giving the widespread absence of credit availability and extension services in rural areas.