IFAD vows to support millions of Tanzanian smallholder farmers

14Feb 2018
Salome Kitomari
The Guardian
IFAD vows to support millions of Tanzanian smallholder farmers

THE International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has pledged to support 47 million Tanzania’s smallholder farmers in the next three years (2019-2021).

IFAD President, Gilbert Houngbo

The move is part of the commitments made by 176 member countries of IFAD so as to increase crop production in developing countries including Tanzania through access to technology, finance and knowledge, while improving access to markets.

IFAD President, Gilbert Houngbo, made the commitments on Monday in Rome, Italy, when speaking during the final consultation of the eleventh replenishment of the Fund, which will enable IFAD to expand the size of its programme of loans and grants by 10 percent.

Tanzania is among the beneficiaries of IFAD projects of reducing poverty and hunger since 1978.

IFAD has supported 16 projects and programme in Tanzania for a total amount of USD 430.1 million, benefiting almost 4 million poor rural households.

Planning to improve their operations over the next three years (2019-2021).

The IFAD boss added that 24 million people will be enabled to develop greater resilience to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather, 12 million people will see improvement in their nutrition, and 44 million people will experience better economic status.

 “To achieve these goals, IFAD will intensify its work on climate change, nutrition and gender. Key focus areas, which will be mainstreamed across our portfolio,” he said, adding: “We will also sharpen our focus on youth employment in order to meet one of the most pressing challenges faced by world today.”

During the forum, IFAD member states expressed their commitments towards meeting the target of their contributions amounting to US$ 3.5 billion, which are aimed at addressing poverty in developing countries including Tanzania.

According to IFAD boss, the amount is expected to reach least developed countries in terms of grants and loans.

Those programmes are aimed at reducing poverty and hunger for tens of millions of rural peoples in developing countries around the world.

 According to Houngbo, the renewed commitment from IFAD Member States comes at a critical moment, when the newly released figures showed that hunger increased for the first time in 10 years affecting 815 million people in 2016, up to 38 million from 2015 because of climate change and protracted crisis.

“As world leaders set their sights on ending hunger and poverty by 2030 as part of their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it’s never been more important to scale up efforts and to invest in long-term development.”

“We believe that IFAD has a unique role to play, not only as an investor but as a trusted broker, an assembler of development finance, and a proven innovator sharing its knowledge and expertise,” he stressed.

He, however said that the current pace of development may not be sufficient to achieve the SDGs, as the result IFAD will embark on an ambitious plan to increase its impact further by exploring new ways to leverage its resources, while also focusing on increasing domestic financing and developing new funding sources, including the private sector.

He further said that three quarter of the world’s poorest and hungry people live in rural areas, while ninety percent of IFAD Member States contributions will go to lower income and lower middle-income countries.

The official said that an estimated 25 to 30 per cent will be invested in fragile situations, from 2010-2015 it is estimated that IFAD supported projects moved 24 million people out of poverty.

Since its founding in 1977, IFAD has received approximately USD 8.5 billion in Member State contributions, which have financed investments of USD 19.7 billion and mobilized a further USD 27.1 billion from domestic and international partners.

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