Tanzania secures Sh1 trillion to fund agriculture programmes

Agriculture minister Hussein Bashe

What you need to know:

  • Tanzania has signed agreements for funding its agriculture programmes including the $300 million (about Sh750 million) with the WB and the $100 million (about Sh250 million) pact with the AfDB

Dar es Salaam. The government has signed agreement worth $400 million (about Sh1 trillion) worth with the World Bank (WB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) for funding various agriculture programmes.

The deals were inked during the ongoing African Food Systems Summit AGRF 2023 in Dar es Salaam.

The agreements include the $300 million (about Sh750 million) with the WB and the $100 million (about Sh250 million) pact with the AfDB.

Discussions are also underway between the government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) for a $60 million (about Sh156 billion) commitment. Agriculture minister Hussein Bashe told the media the country has recorded many achievements in the agriculture sector, and that the government’s targets have been surpassed.

He said apart from showcasing products, Tanzania’s targeted financial resource mobilisation to fund the agriculture sector.

“Today, we have launched the irrigation plan dubbed: Programme for Results (PforR) with the WB worth $300 million. Also, we are concluding the bilateral agreement with the AfDB worth $100 million.

“We are in a discussion with the IFAD that has already committed $60 million to see if they can scale up their funding,” he said.

The minister said the Vice President (Philip Mpango) met on Wednesday IFAD vice president and fund’s management on Monday over the same issue.

According to him, the government was also discussing with Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) to establish the possibility of scaling up irrigation projects.

He said the cooperation agreement between Norway and the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (Tari) to strengthen research activities has also been signed. Through the Under Secretary for the Marketing and Regulatory Programmes at the United States Department of Agriculture, the two sides have agreed on the need to reinstate Feed the Future Programme, according to the minister.

“We have also agreed to strengthen collaboration on horticulture production as well as those related to the youth and the women.

“We have inaugurated the Agriculture Transformation Office (ATO) as the country is prepared to launch the 2050 Country Development Plan that needs to be aligned with the Agriculture Transformation Master Plan,” he added.

Mr Bashe said the government is cooperating with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and McKinsey & Company that has also been entrusted to prepare the Agriculture Transformation Master Plan. Yesterday, Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi launched funding raising programme for the Building Better Tomorrow (BBT).

Mr Bashe reiterated the call for African countries to complement each other through comparative advantages instead of competing among themselves.

That way, he said, the countries will be able to confront international financial infrastructures.

“When you take a global docket for long term loans in the world economy and pick the agriculture segment, Africa is supposed to unite in order to counter the world financial systems for the realisation of equity in the resource mobilisation,” he said.

“Today, African countries are restricted to use coal, charcoal, etc over environment conservation. But, how much such countries contribute to global pollution as compared to developing nations?” he questioned.

He welcomed discussions on the issues, insisting that will happen when African countries decide to approach the international stage in unity.

Clarifying the concept, Mr Bashe said, for instance, that Zambia produces soya while Tanzania doesn’t, but some institutions would mobilise Tanzania to start producing the same. He said that would be like shifting the country’s budget allocated for rice production to soya farming, which would be a reduction in investment set aside for rice farming.

“This means we will keep sharing poverty. Let Zambia produce soya in scale and Tanzania will have to trade with it whenever the country has demand and use its budget to scale production in areas that provide profit.

“For instance, in the horticulture sector, Tanzania can produce more money in avocado farming as compared to flowers. Therefore, we shouldn’t use the limited funds for trying to produce everything,” he added.

He insisted that African countries should complement each other in the areas of resource mobilisation, production and marketing in order to lift citizens out of poverty.