Dar es Salaam — The Irish Embassy in Tanzania yesterday signed an aid agreement with the World Food Program (WFP) Tanzania as part of the former's efforts to support programmes that improve the income of people living in rural areas.
The Sh2.6 billion aid deal will be focused on supporting WFP's crucial work in providing emergency food and nutrition assistance to Burundian and Congolese refugees hosted in the country.
Part of the aid will also go towards funding a pilot project to develop a sorghum value-chain in Dodoma Region.
The project is expected to directly impact approximately 6,000 farmers and focus on increasing productivity, marketing opportunities and training on post-harvest loss reduction.
"This year," said the Irish Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Paul Sherlock, "Ireland will contribute an additional Sh2.6 billion to WFP, bringing its total support since 2015 to Sh10.8 billion."
Mr Sherlock expressed his appreciation to the WFP's approach, which he said goes beyond funding refugee programmes to issuing of household farming whose improvement millions of people depend on.
WFP country director Michael Dunford said the Irish aid was a commendable move to meet the needs of refugees.
On agriculture, Mr Dunford said that funding small household farmers was "very important for the development of Tanzania," adding that it was due to the fact that "while the country was heading to an industrial economy, the effort needed to go hand in hand with the agrarian economy."
Apart from WFP, the Irish government also invested Sh4 billion in the Agricultural Markets Development Trust (AMDT), a Tanzanian-owned platform to promote better coordination among the griculture value chain projects.
The country will also contribute a total of Sh692 million to the Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF), bringing its total support since 2011 to Sh2.6 billion.