AfDB triples incomes for rural producers, traders in Tanzania

Incomes for rural producers and traders have increased threefold, the African Development Bank (AfDB) report shows.

With $56.8 million (Tsh131.2bn) in funding, the AfDB programme to enhance market value addition and rural finance was undertaken in 32 districts with a population of 6.1 million in 1.2 million households. Approximately 78 per cent of beneficiaries reported improved incomes, rising from an average of $41 in 2012 to $133 in 2017.

“This increase is attributable to the sale of value-added products, improved access to markets, increased productivity, the use of improved techniques (including the System of Rice Intensification and the use of fertilizer and improved seed) and enhanced capacity to negotiate better prices,” says Salum Ramadhan, project Team Lead.

Small producers and traders also gained greater access to agricultural markets, which cut their post-harvest losses of staple crops. One beneficiary, the Meru Dairy Company, recorded a nearly-85 per cent spike in production: establishment of a cold room boosted the company’s milk-production capacity from 400 to 2200 litres.

Transportation costs on all refurbished roads dropped by an average of 20 per cent to 50 per cent. For example, the cost of transporting a bag of onions on the renovated road to Mang’ola market in Karatu fell from $1.30 to $0.22. Transport times for produce harvested have fallen from an average of three-and-a-half hours to 56 minutes. Downstream, the use of the programme’s warehouses has led to a sharp decline in post-harvest losses, from 57 per cent to 15 per cent overall.

The successful execution of the project is thought to have helped rural poverty reduction and economic growth, by improving incomes and food security

The project also complemented the work of government agencies by boosting access to markets and increasing the quantity of value-added agricultural products.