The United States African Development Foundation USADF has issued an annual grant subsidy to rural communities engaged in irrigation farming to the tune of $100,000 enhance projects and enable them fight hunger.
Mr Gilliard Nkini, Country Programme Coordinator in Tanzania said that availability of seeds and improvement of irrigation infrastructure is now possible under the arrangement. He also added that “USADF acknowledges the contribution of smallholder farmers as the backbone of African economies. They contribute more than half to the country’s GDP comprising nearly 70 per cent of its labor force,”
Beneficiaries of this fund involve a group of more than 20 members in 11 regions. USADF manages a portfolio of 11 projects in Tanzania and has become an effective tool that works with the most vulnerable in African communities. Small grants of $250,000 are awarded for technical assistance and capacity building to grassroots organizations, cooperatives and community enterprise that strengthen impacting local institution.
This funding has become essential for improving rural livelihood considering neglect of agriculture and the reduction in budgetary allocation to the sector despite making up about 75% of the total labour force.
Prof. Andrew Temu, an Agricultural Economist from Sokoine University of Agriculture said the inadequate financing has left the country into irrigating only 43,000 acres last year as opposed to the 1million acre target.
Image Credit: Gawler Irrigation