Arusha — THE African Development Bank (AfDB) through the Marketing Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance Support Programme (MIVARF) will fund rural road upgrading projects in Tanzania and Zanzibar.
The MIVARF National coordinator, Mr Walter Swai, stated here that a total of 250 kilometers of roads' network mapped within rural districts, will be covered under the new development initiative to benefit both the Tanzanian mainland and Isles.
Apart from the road networks upgrading projects, the development programme will also fund the construction of a number of crop storage silos in rural areas as well as refurbishing existing ones in efforts to boost the country's agricultural sector through adding value to farm produce.
"We are going to train farmers on proper ways of processing and storing their produce so that they may take them to the market after adding value instead of what most of them are doing now, selling raw harvests and at times when the crops are still in the fields," said Mr Swai.
According to Mr Swai, the programme will also provide monetary and technical assistance to over 865 micro-finance institutions and small scale farming groups including a total of 108 grassroots Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies in the country in order to empower such people-oriented organizations in their outreach programmes in rural areas.
The Marketing Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance Programme (MIVARF) is a follow-up to the Bank and IFAD financed Agricultural Marketing Systems Development Programme (AMSDP) which successfully achieved its development objectives in increasing the percentage of all-year passable rural roads and decrease in the number of households located more than 10kms from passable roads.
Through the programme the government had proposed the construction of feeder roads, market centres and storage facilities to improve farmers access to markets and increase share of value added of small and medium-scale producers which will ultimately enhance food security and improve the welfare of small and medium-scale producers through increased household income.