The Private Agricultural Sector Support Trust (PASS) is a facility established in the year 2000 in order to stimulate investment and growth in commercial agriculture and related sectors. It was registered in 2007 as non profit making and non governmental organization under the Trustees Incorporation Act, 2002 and is taxed as charitable organization.
The case of Magin LTD – in Kondoa district-Dodoma Region
Situated in Tanzania’s capital city Dodoma, Magin LTD company is a sunflower processing company that is changing lives of poor small holder sunflower growers in the region.
Over 3000 small scale sunflower growers depend on this processing firm for survival. 20 other young men and women are directly employed by the firm on a permanent basis.
MAGIN Ltd provides a ready sunflower market to the traders for processing of sunflower oil commonly referred to as alizeti. 60% of the traders who bring their products here are women.
Having begun its operations in 2016, the oil processing company has faced many challenges among them lack of enough working capital to purchase from small scale traders, as well as technological challenges that include lack of machinery to undertake most of its operations thus affecting efficiency.
However, the challenges notwithstanding, MAGIN Ltd is among those who contribute to the country’s 350 000 tonnes of sunflower oil seeds, thus making it one of the top 10 sunflower oil seed producers in the world.
Lack of technological know-how on coffee processing for the local market in Tanzania forced the management of Mambo Coffee to venture into exporting of green coffee 10 years ago. Since then, Athanasio Massenha, the company’s Managing Director has never regretted his decision, because this decision he says changed his ways of thinking about agribusiness and has enabled his company survive what he refers to as business turbulent.
Mr. Massenha begun his coffee export business in the year 2011, after actualizing an idea he had mooted with his wife. 10 years down the line, Massenha is not only a renowned entrepreneur but a role model in agribusiness, mentoring students on successful entrepreneurship. Massenha has an established network of international coffee buyers whom he strives to satisfy at every order given.
The Mambo Coffee Company has grown from a company that could take a month to manually fill four containers of green coffee for export, to 30 containers a month after installation of required machines that have made his work easier and more efficient. “I realized that the way I was moving, it was going to be very difficult for me to satisfy my increasing demand of Mambo Green Coffee. I had to act fast to save my busines” He says After several attempts to secure a loan from the banks, Massehna says it was not easy because he did not have enough collateral. It was at this point that the company sought PASS Trust Intervention through its credit guarantee scheme.
“Since 2014, Mambo Coffee has benefitted from our credit guarantee scheme, and this has not disappointed since we can see the company’s impact on the ground and the transformation that it is making to the lives of small scale coffee farmers in Tanzania as a whole’ Says Hadija Seif, PASS Zonal manager in charge of the Eastern Zone.
With a TZS 5.5 Billion secured through PASS guarantee since 2014, Mambo coffee has moved to ensure constant purchase of raw materials from the farmers. It has 27 permanent employees looking up to it for salaries every month, The company buys raw materials from at least 200,000 small scale farmers spread across the country and who are in cooperatives.
The factory- Dan Holdings sells an assortment of wine, locally produced under the brand name of Dane Wines and is supplied to local shops for sale, with orders from as far as Dar es Salaam.
Having begun wine processing in the year 2016, the company has been struggling to reach its maximum potential while experiencing various challenges ranging from lack of enough working capital to purchase raw materials from customers to technical challenges where they have been handling wine packaging manually, thus consuming a lot of time and resources.
When we visited the factory earlier after the management expressed the intention to expand its services through the PASS credit guarantee, we found the employees indeed struggling with manual sealing of the bottles using a charcoal jiko and hot water.
“We are doing this because we lack automated machines to help us undertake the exercise. We waste a lot of time doing this activity manually so we end up just selling 500 litres a week” Says Meshack Yotham, the production manager. PASS officials indeed established that much of the work here is done manually, hence the need for support in order to increase productivity.
In August this year, PASS Trust did a due diligence of the company and established its needs. With 15 permanent employees and a number of casuals, PASS established that at least 12 villages depend on this company for their survival. The company purchases raw materials for wine processing from at least 145 customers spread across the 12 villages.
Visiting the small village of Dirma in Hanang district of Manyara region, we come across a number of small business men whose lives have changed after accessing credit to support their agricultural activities.
Samwel Gidawe, a proud owner of attractor that has been acquired through PASS credit Guarantee scheme is one such man who tells us his life has not been the same since he acquired the tractor. “As you can see, this used to be my house upto last year, but now, I have moved after constructing this new house” Says Gidawe.
Towards the end of the year 2018, Mr. Gidawe got a 60% credit guarantee from PASS to acquire a tractor which he badly needed to enable him farm. He had previously approached banks to lend him for this purpose but in vain because he lacked the collateral to support his request.
After acquiring the tractor, Gidawe has used it to his advantage. He ploughs his own shamba and also does ploughing for his neighbours at a fee. It is through this fee that he charges that he has been able to construct a new home for himself and his family. This has enabled him move from his old grass thatched into a new modern house while also embracing green technology in rain water harvesting and solar power.
At least 140 more youths are set to join the PASS Agribusiness Incubation Centres (AICs) in Morogoro and Kongwa in October 2019 for 12 months of doing actual business in horticulture production, goat fattening and meat processing. They will replace another batch of 54 entrepreneurs who have been undertaking the same program since October 2019 and are expected to exit in September 2020.
Forty-seven incubates have been at the SUA Morogoro AIC centre and the remaining seven are doing their businesses at the Kongwa AIC located on the TALIRI farm. The incubates are acquainted with various agribusiness skills including business management, book-keeping, cash flow management, marketing, quality control, scanning of the business environment, and regulatory issues among others. They are also being exposed to real market challenges including dealing with price fluctuations.
“The establishment of the AICs model is aimed at developing a set of financial and non-financial services for people who show the willingness and passion to become high growth agribusiness entrepreneurs,” says PASS managing director Nicomed Bohay.
Working in partnership with Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro and the Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI) in Kongwa district, Dodoma region, the centres exposes youth into green growth principles enshrined in agribusiness. The aim is to establish successful agri-enterprises owned and operated by the youth in various agro sub-sectors. According to Mr Bohay, a minimum gender balance of 50:50 is the target for the incubation exercise.
PASS-AIC, working with various financial institutions, has worked out a modality through the PASS Credit guarantee scheme to facilitate youth accessing funds to set up agribusinesses in their own premises/land once they leave the centres.
It was pomp and colour on the final day of the PASS Trust Week held in Dodoma as stakeholders converged to witness the launch of PASS Trust’s new company -The PASS Leasing Company LTD. The launch of the PASS Leasing company was witnessed by a host of stakeholders from the agricultural value chain that included financial institutions, agricultural mechanization companies, farmers, processors, and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain.Read More