The government has received Sh265 billion in new financial assistance from the European Union (EU) to promote productivity and competitiveness in the agricultural sector.
The financing support, dubbed “agri- connect,” would help to promote horticulture, coffee, tea, food production and nutrition security in the country.
The statement was made by the permanent secretary in the ministry of Finance and Planning, Mr Dotto James, yesterday during the Agri-Connect programme signing ceremony.
“As we all know Tanzania and the European Union’s cooperation is anchored on the continuous partnership agreement whose main objectives are to reduce poverty, promote sustainable development and support the integration of Tanzania into the world economy,” he said.
According to him, the support was coming at a time when the government was implementing the Agriculture Sector Development Programme Phase Two (ASDP II).
“The implementation of the project will be through a decentralised modality with the National Authorising Officers as the central authority,” he said.
According to him, the management and supervision roles of the programme will be delegated to the line ministries such as Agriculture, Natural Resources, Finance, President’s Office and Prime Minister’s Office.
EU ambassador Roeland Van De Geer said Agri- Connect would help to overcome key constraints in the agriculture sector that limit production, value addition, marketing and access to regional and export markets for horticulture, coffee and tea.
The ministry of Agriculture and Livestock permanent secretary, Mr Methew Mtigumwe, said the funds would boost the agriculture sector in areas that were not doing well because of poor of infrastructure.
“We have failed to perform better in areas that normally grow tea due to poor roads. Therefore, a huge amount of the funds received today will be channeled to constructing a 231-kilometre road in such areas,” he said.