Tanzania, IFAD launch US$77.4m project to boost productivity, build resilience of small-scale farmers

TANZANIA – The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have inked a US$77.4 million project aimed to help rural households facing the impacts of climate change.

The Agriculture and Fisheries Development Programme (AFDP) will provide the means for rural people to boost productivity, improve food security and nutrition, and increase their resilience.

To implement this project, IFAD is providing a US$58.8 million loan with the government dishing out US$7.7 million.

A further US$8.4 million will be contributed by the private sector and US$2.4 million will come from the beneficiaries themselves.

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“Food security and nutrition is both an indicator and a driver of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development. It is also an investment in the future.”

Francesco Rispoli, IFAD Country Director for Tanzania.

According to IFAD, poverty is higher in rural areas in the country, with 31 per cent of the population living below the poverty line, and depending on livestock, food crop production and fisheries for their livelihood.

At a time when the COVID-19 crisis could push another 500,000 Tanzanians into poverty, AFDP will target small-scale farmers, small and medium seed producers, artisanal fishers, processors, aquafarmers, seaweed farmers and others in 41 districts in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Half the beneficiaries will be women and 30 per cent will be youth.

“Food security and nutrition is both an indicator and a driver of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development. It is also an investment in the future,” says Francesco Rispoli, IFAD Country Director for Tanzania.

Agriculture which is key to defeating poverty and hunger, accounts for 29 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employs 66.3 per cent of the population and meets 95 per cent of the country’s food requirements.

Eighty per cent of the food produced comes from small-scale farmers who rely on rainfall and have limited access to inputs and information that could help them improve yields.

Through the project, 13,000 metric tons of quality certified seeds – maize, sunflower and pulses – will be distributed to farmers.

Local extension services will help create awareness on improved seeds and facilitate market linkages with grain buyers and processors to avoid fake seeds in the market and improve uptake by farmers.

To increase protein intake and promote healthy diets in the participating rural households, AFDP will help increase the capacity of aquaculture development centers to produce 25 million tilapia fingerlings and 10 million catfish.

This will increase the supply and bring down the prices of fish in the local market. The project will also develop kitchen gardens for vegetables and provide training for households on nutrition.

In Tanzania, farmers will continue to bear the brunt of climate change, with droughts and increased rainfall putting pressure on the ecosystem that they depend on.

To help build their resilience, farmers will be able to access locally adapted seeds. Small-scale producers will be trained on environmentally friendly techniques and technologies for fishing and management of natural resources.

Public-private-producer partnerships will be supported to engage those involved in deep-sea fishing and reduce post-harvest losses.

Participants of the project will be able to access affordable financial services from the Smallholder Credit Guarantee Scheme initially funded by IFAD through Marketing Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance Support Programme (MIVARF).

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