The international The Agricultural Development Fund (IFAD) will provide funds to assist 6,240 smallholder farmers in rural areas of Tanzania who have been negatively affected by the pandemic. The IFAD grant will help farmers access inputs, link to markets and access agricultural and market information to improve their productivity and increase their resilience.
The growth of Tanzania’s agricultural sector is expected to decrease from 5% in 2019 to 2% in 2020 due to the recent locust infestation and pandemic. The decline in growth has resulted in a number of negative impacts, including high input costs and limited access to markets, with smallholder farmers most affected.
Despite the many challenges they face, cultivation remains the main economic activity for most smallholder farmers in Tanzania. To help increase their productivity, the grant will distribute 23,650 kilograms of bio-fortified corn seeds, 14,460 kilograms of sunflower seeds and 971,000 fruit and vegetable plants. In addition, the grant will help preserve the gains made under the Marketing Infrastructure, Value Added and Rural Finance Support Program (MIVARF) – an IFAD-supported project that ended in 2020 – by using its existing agricultural input distribution system to reach targeted farmers.
Through its Rural Poor Stimulus Mechanism (RPSF), IFAD will provide US $ 882,841 as part of its response to COVID-19 in Tanzania. As the COVID-19 crisis threatens to push an additional 500,000 Tanzanians into poverty, the grant aims to minimize the impact on livelihoods, resilience and food security. It will target farmers – half of whom will be women and 30 percent young people, as well as agro-traders, buyers and extension workers in Dodoma, Njombe, Simiyu, Singida and Unguja regions.