A total of 89 Rice farmers in Mapogoro (60 farmers) and Tungamalenga (29farmers) rice schemes in Idodi ward Iringa District benefited from loan of amounting to 197 million Tsh (84,950USD) accessed from CRDB bank after using a cropping calendar prepared by iMAP4CSA Project. A 2- year project (June 2019 – June 2021) funded by the Belgian Government Development Cooperation through their company ENABLE.
When the season starts, rice farmers in Mapogoro and Tungamalenga schemes were farming in different timing, some were planting very early while others were planting very late, hence making it very difficult for timely collective input procurements access and market access as well.
After launch of iMAP4CSA Project in 2019, Kilimo Trust prepared a cropping calendar and agreed with all farmers in the scheme, that they will be using cropping calendar to prepare their farm activities and apply good agronomic practices in their fields.
The aim of the cropping calendar was to enable farmers to timely and collectively accessing inputs from supplier’s hence fetch low price. It also meant to enable farmers sell their produce at the same time to win better price due to volume sold.
The effect of cropping calendar went viral when the scheme approached the bank and requested a loan, the bank accepted their request with the condition that they should have a cropping calendar.
“We applied for a loan from CRDB Bank, one of the requirements to access this loan was to have cropping calendar, fortunately iMAP4CSA project prepared a cropping calendar for our scheme. We attached our cropping calendar to the loan application and successfully received a loan amounting to Tsh 197 million” explains by Herman Reuben, a former chairperson of Mapogoro Scheme.
The loan was used by scheme farmers for purchasing inputs and cover farm operation costs.
Farmers are now repaying the loan through a buyer of their produce (Ruaha Milling Co Ltd).