The Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) and the World Food Programme (WFP) met on Thursday May 2nd 2019 to discuss their current areas of collaboration and to identify potential new areas of partnership to spearhead development of the agricultural sector in Tanzania. The Bank and WFP are working in partnership in implementing the Farm to Market Alliance (FTMA) project, a cooperation which has enabled TADB to provide loans of over TZS 750 million to eight maize farmer groups with a total of 867 farmers and about 2,789 acres in Ruvuma and Rukwa regions of the Southern Highlands. The plan is to explore ways to scale up the FtMA model and have more smallholders under this arrangement.

Innovation is a key element in the transformation of the agricultural sector in the country and both TADB and WFP are working to promote innovation in agricultural production systems in the country in varying ways. While the bank manages a fund that promotes innovation in rural Tanzania, WFP strives to be the field hub of innovation. Together, the two entities have agreed to partner to devise methods that would contribute to the reduction of post-harvest losses in grains thus increasing food production and bettering nutrition across the country.

Through the Boresha Lishe project implemented in Singida and Dodoma, food security has been greatly improved. To further this, the bank is working to develop schemes and methods that will increase crop diversification and improve access to finance and hence make its presence better felt in the regions. Another point of focus is irrigation. In line with the Agricultural Sector Development Plan (ASDP) II component of sustainable water and land use management, TADB is setting out to reach the objective of financing at least 20 irrigation schemes, promoting three alternative irrigation technology schemes, financing an agri-park in the Lake Zone area and offering financing solutions to at least ten major projects related to climate change management. WFP has expressed readiness to provide technical assistance as well as programme design and management to assist the bank to achieve this ambitious transformative objective.

The continued alliance between TADB and WFP provides farmers with the opportunity to secure affordable loans and agricultural technologies alongside other benefits, all of which are pivotal in raising farmers’ incomes and improving the livelihood of millions in Tanzania.