THE European Union (EU) handed over 21 motor vehicles worth about 1.4bn/- to spur productivity and competitiveness in the country's agricultural sector.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Dr Servacius Likwelile, received the vehicles for distribution to five institutions that work on various projects under the EU funded Trade and Agriculture Support Programme.
The benefiting institutions include Tanzania Coffee Research Institute, Tanzania Cotton Board, National Fish Quality Control Laboratory, Tanzania Bureau of Standards and Tea Research Institute of Tanzania.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, the Acting Head of Delegations of EU in Tanzania, Mr Tom Vens, said the programme aims at increasing farmers' income through better access to markets.
"EU is committed to supporting capacity development for better compliance with market development in terms of quality and standards and strengthen value chains linking smallholder farmers to market in a view to increase productivity, competitiveness and income," said Mr Vens.
Mr Vens said that they expect the assets will contribute to the achievement of the programme's objectives and facilitate reaching out to the final beneficiaries who are the smallholder farmers.
The upshot is to see them benefit from the results of the research and development efforts pursued under the programme.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance said his ministry and EU Delegation jointly procured the vehicles in order to benefit from economies of scale instead of each institution procuring its own motor vehicles.
"We believe that the vehicles we have handed over to the institutions will be used appropriately in order to achieve its intended objectives," said Mr Likwelile.