The Global Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, Samantha Power has pledged an additional USD 5 Million into Tanzania’s Agriculture sector.
The donation is specifically intended to boost the country’s food security.
Samantha Powere made the pledge in Arusha as she visited smallholder farmers involved in growing horticultural products, in Arumeru District.
Channelled through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the funds are in addition to previous USD 14 Million that the U.S injected into Tanzania’s Agricultural Sector in the last nine months.
In total, the United States has of now, donated USD 19 Million to boost agriculture in Tanzania. The figure translates to nearly 45 billion/- in local currency.
The USAID Global Administrator, Samantha Power, explained that the addition USD 5 Million, among other things, is meant to empower local food growers to invest in proper irrigation systems, farm inputs, storage facilities, agricultural machinery and offsetting effects of climate change.
“I am very aware that local food producers are also working hard trying to recover from the Covid-19 Pandemic which affected global supply chains,” added Ms Power.
During her itinerary in Arusha, the Global USAID Administrator visited horticultural farms in the Ilkiding’a Village of Arumeru District, where she met and held talks with local farmers, especially women growers.
Ms Power also met with the aspiring young farmers being incubated under the state supported ‘Build a Better Tomorrow,’ (BBT) program.
One of the farmers she managed to meet in Arusha is Eva Petro Mollel.
Eva is also the Secretary of the Association of Arusha Onion Growers (UVIWAVA).
Ms Mollel revealed that of late more women have been joining commercial farming activities, something which used to be impossible in the past.
“As per traditions, women were not allowed to own land or engage in activities that go beyond domestic chores,” she pointed out.
“And when it comes to irrigation farming, this is usually a night activity when peasants are compelled to trek long distances at dusk to open the water gates for drenching the farms and close them after irrigation,” Eva explained.
According to the Onion grower, for women to wake up in the middle of night and leave their houses to go and irrigate their farms is something that many husbands will not hear of.
She however assured that nowadays members of the community have been enlightened.
The husbands have even started to even escort their wives, sometimes even undertaking the night farming duties themselves.
The Director of Tanzania Horticulture Association, Dr Jacqueline Mkindi revealed that the apex body known as TAHA, has been working with USAID in empowering local farmers in Tanzania.
“Nowadays, farming is all about markets and with the assistance from USAID we are working to secure local and overseas markets for Tanzanian horticultural producers,” stated Dr Mkindi.
She also pointed out that USAID assisted the apex association in coming up with its logistics arm, TAHA Fresh.