TANZANIA – The World Food Programme (WFP) has partnered with state owned development financial institution, Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TABD) in implementing the Farm to Market Alliance (FTMA) project.

The project seeks to boost the agriculture sector in the country with plans of explore ways to scale up the FTMA model and have more smallholders under the arrangement.

According to a Daily News report, the platform has enabled TADB to provide loans of over Tshs750m (US$330 000) to maize farmer groups with a total of 867 farmers and about 2,789 acres in Ruvuma and Rukwa regions of the southern highlands.

In a joint statement issued in Dar es Salaam, the two partners have also embarked on a drive that seeks to identify current areas of collaboration and potential new areas of partnership.

According to the statement, the bank will manage a fund that promotes innovation in rural Tanzania while WFP will strive to be the field hub of innovation.

“Innovation is a key element in the transformation of the agricultural sector in the country, both TADB and WFP are working to promote innovation in agricultural production systems in the country in varying ways,” reads part of the statement.

Together, the two entities also agreed to collaborate in devising methods that will contribute to the reduction of post-harvest losses in grains thus increasing food production and bettering nutrition across the country.

The partners hinted that through the “Boresha Lishe project” implemented in Singida and Dodoma, food security has been greatly improved.

“The bank is working to develop schemes and methods that will increase crop diversification and improve access to finance and hence make its presence better felt in the regions,” reads the statement.

TADB is setting out to reach the objective of financing at least 20 irrigation schemes, promoting three alternative irrigation technology schemes and financing an agri-park in the Lake Zone area.

The financial institution is also set to offer financing solutions to at least ten major projects related to climate change management.

WFP has expressed readiness to provide technical assistance as well as programme design and management to assist the bank in question to achieve this ambitious transformative objective.

The continued alliance between TADB and WFP provides farmers with the opportunity to secure affordable loans and agricultural technologies alongside other benefits.