Under its Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) would provide funding to help over 6,200 vulnerable small-scale farmers in rural Tanzania affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
IFAD will provide about US$ 882,841 to minimise the COVID-19-triggered impact on livelihoods, and food security.
The grant will help farmers access inputs, provide market linkages and access necessary market information to improve their productivity and boost their resilience.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the vulnerability of our food systems. To ensure we build a sustainable and resilient food system, we need to recognize the role small-scale farmers play and empower them to access inputs, information and markets for their produce,” said Francesco Rispoli, IFAD Country Director for Tanzania.
Owing to the recent locust outbreak and the ongoing pandemic, growth in the East African country’s farming sector was predicted to decline from 5% in 2019 to 2% in 2020.
Notably, crop cultivation remains the primary economic activity for most small-scale farmers in Tanzania. In order to boost their productivity, the grant will distribute:
- More than 23,600 kilograms of bio-fortified maize seeds
- About 14,400 kilograms of sunflower seeds
- Over 970,000 seedlings of fruits and vegetables
As border closures, due to COVID-19 protocols, have limited access to agri-markets for many farmers, the grant will support the National Food Reserve Agency purchase maize grain from the farmers, under its current plan to boost its reserve.