Dar es Salaam, 29 January 2015 – Targeted investments in Tanzanian agriculture contributed to increasing yields for crops such as paddy, maize, or tomato in a range of 60 to 120 per cent in those areas where irrigation and extension activities were carried out at a substantial level, a new country programme evaluation by the Independent Office of Evaluation of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), presented today in Dar es Salaam, reveals.
Tanzania has the second-largest IFAD portfolio (in terms of volume of lending) in the East and Southern Africa region, after Ethiopia. Since the beginning of IFAD’s operations in the country in 1978, IFAD has financed 14 loan-funded investment projects of US$360 million, and has mobilized more than US$700 million in support to agricultural development projects. The government has provided cofinancing of US$72 million, or about 10 per cent of total portfolio costs. Additional contributions were provided by other donors, notably the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the governments of Belgium, Japan and Ireland.
The evaluation recommended that IFAD support the next phase of the Agricultural Sector Development Programme – a governmental programme that aims to improve farmers’ access to and use of agricultural knowledge, technologies, marketing systems and infrastructure, in Mainland and Zanzibar.
“In Zanzibar and Pemba alone, IFAD’s support through the Agricultural Sector Development Programme has assisted more than 35,000 farmers, 62 per cent of whom were women,” said Nadine Gbossa, Head of the IFAD Regional Office in Nairobi. “This programme has concentrated on agricultural extension activities, adopting the innovative Farmer Field Schools approach. The Government has adopted this approach as part of its policies and strategies, and is now integrating it in its programmes. This is a major achievement for IFAD as a partner.”
The evaluation report highlighted how instrumental IFAD and other development partners were in supporting Tanzania’s decentralization policy, which seeks to devolve responsibility for designing and implementing projects to local government authorities. The evaluation, however, found limited progress in supporting agricultural marketing and value chain development.
The independent evaluation report – the second of its kind in Tanzania – will inform IFAD’s next country strategy in late 2015. “The next IFAD country strategy is an opportunity to build on the results of agriculture extension activities and focus on marketing and agricultural value-chain development, as well as to strengthen non-lending activities, including knowledge management, policy dialogue and partnership-building,” said Oscar A. Garcia, Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation. “Moreover, there is room to broaden engagement with the private sector and explore more coordinated support to value chains with other development partners in Tanzania,” he added.
The full evaluation report is expected to be released in April 2015.