- The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is set to support Tanzania's agriculture and education programmes by approving two loans amounting to over US $90 million for the purpose.
The bank is among Tanzania's top four major development partners. It started operations in the country since 1971 and has so far carried out 104 operations totalling US $1.9 billion.
In a news release, the bank said the first loan [US $61.25 million] was meant to finance phase one of Tanzania's Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP), while the second loan [US $30.62] is earmarked for Secondary Education Plan (SEDP).
The ASDP's objective is to provide farmers better access to agricultural knowledge, technologies, marketing systems and infrastructure, all of which contribute to higher productivity, profitability, and incomes, as well as promote private investment in the sector based on an improved regulatory and policy environment. It is also expected to contribute to increased GDP growth, reduce rural poverty and enhance food security.
The ASDP entails two programme components [local and national] and eight sub-components. The local component supports sector activities at the village, ward and district levels and will focus on three sub-components: agricultural investments, agricultural services, and agricultural capacity building and reform.
On the other hand, the national component focuses on five sub-components: Agricultural Services, National Irrigation Development and Marketing and Private Sector Development, Food Security as well as Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation.
"The programme will be implemented nationwide and all districts in the country will be eligible for assistance," assured the bank, adding, "Farmers will benefit directly from the programme as participants in specific programme financed activities (services and/or investments), as well as indirectly through improved efficiency of public service delivery at the local level.
The total number of farm households targeted to benefit from agricultural services will be about 3 million by the end of the programme."
The overall cost of the ASDP is estimated at US $315.56 million. It will be financed with loans from the ADF, the government, beneficiaries and five other development agencies, including the World Bank.
The SEDP seeks to contribute to increased access and improved quality and equity of secondary education in order to attain the national sector goal for education which is to ensure equitable access to quality primary and secondary education, universal literacy and expansion of higher, technical and vocational education.
It focuses on improving access, equity and quality; management reform and devolution of authority, as well as the improvement of the education management system. It is expected to make considerable positive impact on poverty reduction, gender equity as well as in the reduction of the incidence of HIV/AIDS.
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