TANZANIA – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is set to inject over US$117.81 million (Tshs127bn) to Tanzania’s agricultural sector to support projects in the country for the three-year period, effective next year.

IFAD President Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo said that the money has been allocated to fund agricultural projects in the country, with the view of boosting production and national economic growth.

Speaking during a meeting with the IFAD president in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s the head of state President John Magufuli said that the funds will play a key role in actualising modernisation of the agricultural sector.

President Magufuli mentioned that the funds will also be channelled towards improving seed production, improvement of livestock keeping and guaranteeing markets for agricultural produce.

He assured IFAD management that his administration will ensure that the allocated fund is directed to crucial areas for the country’s agricultural sector development.

Mr Houngbo hailed President Magufuli’s economic interventions by promoting establishment of sound independent investments that generate income for all and build up a sustainable independent economy.

According to Mr Houngbo, IFAD has already allocated the money and is only waiting for the government to identify specific investment projects where the money will be channelled to.

The agriculture sector contributes up to 80 per cent of export earnings and employs nearly 75 per cent of the workforce in the country.

With over 40 years of presence in Tanzania, IFAD has developed a wide range of partnerships over the years in the country, working with government agencies, other donors, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations and the private sector.

The international financial institution has financed 15 rural development programmes and projects in the United Republic of Tanzania for a total cost of US$839.59 million, with an IFAD investment of US$363.48 million, directly benefiting about 4 million rural households.

“Recognizing the significant contribution of the agriculture sector to the national economy, IFAD has been providing investment to support the government’s strategies to modernize agriculture and transform rural areas.

IFAD will continue supporting the government’s strategies for agricultural development and rural transformation for the benefit of smallholder farmers,” the organisation said in a statement.