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United Republic of Tanzania


Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 916.43 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 402.52 million

Total IFAD financing


Households impacted

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The Context

United Republic of Tanzania is an emerging economy with high potential, having made great strides in economic and structural reforms. 

The country has an estimated population of 53 million people (2016). About 70 per cent of the people reside in rural areas, divided between the Mainland and Zanzibar island. The population of young people almost doubled between 1990 and 2010 – from 4.4 million to 8.1 million – and will swell to 11 million by 2020. Young people currently account for 30 per cent of the workforce, mainly in agriculture.

The agriculture sector contributes about one quarter of GDP and employs three quarters of all Tanzanian workers. Almost half (45 per cent) of the country’s land is classified as agricultural land and 15 per cent as arable. 

Tourism is the top foreign exchange earner. Agriculture, a mainstay of livelihoods for about 70 per cent of households, has continued to post slower growth. The agriculture sector, largely made up of smallholders, has not benefited from the same momentum as other sectors and is in need of investment and modernization. 

Poverty is more prevalent in rural areas, which are home to over 80 per cent of the country’s poor and extremely poor people.  Although recent economic growth is believed to have trickled down to Tanzania’s poorest people, approximately 70 per cent of Tanzanians continue to live on less than US$2.00 a day. 

About 80 per cent of agricultural production in the country comes from subsistence farmers who relying on manual cultivation and rainfed production, making them highly vulnerable to weather shocks. Limited areas are under medium- and large-scale farming. The country imports significant volumes of cereals and pulses, which could be produced nationally.

The Strategy

In Tanzania, IFAD is working to transform the agricultural sector – including crops, livestock and fisheries – to achieve higher and more sustainable productivity, profitability and commercialization, as well as increased smallholder farmer incomes. 

Our country strategic opportunities programme is aligned with the government’s second National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty and its Development Vision 2025, as well as a number of agricultural development policies, strategies and investment programmes in the Mainland and Zanzibar. 

The IFAD country strategic opportunities programme (2016-2021) has four main strategic objectives, focused on:

  • improving institutional performance, coordination and accountability to IFAD target groups and their organizations at central and local levels;
  • building more inclusive and resilient value chains of priority commodities, driven by expanded and sustainable access to markets and financial services and by a more inclusive private sector;
  • improving climate-resilient technologies that increase productivity in priority crop, livestock and fishery commodities; and
  • strengthening land governance, enabling more inclusive public and private investments in agriculture.

Country Facts

Tourism in Tanzania is the top foreign exchange earner, and agriculture, a mainstay of livelihoods for about 70 per cent of households, has continued to post slower growth.

Approximately 12 million Tanzanians still live below the national poverty line, almost unchanged from 2007, due to high population growth. 

Since 1978, IFAD has supported 16 projects and programmes in the country for a total amount of US$430.1 million, benefiting almost 4 million poor rural households.

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Country documents

Country strategic opportunities programme

Type: Country Strategic Opportunities Programme
Region: East and Southern Africa

Projects and Programmes

PLANNED Under design after concept note approval

APPROVED Approved by the Executive Board or IFAD President

SIGNED Financing agreements signed

ONGOING Under implementation

CLOSED Completed/closed projects

No matching projects were found
No matching projects were found

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Related news

Tanzania and IFAD strengthen partnership for reducing rural poverty

May 2019 - NEWS

The President of the IFAD, Gilbert F. Houngbo, will travel to the United Republic of Tanzania and meet President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli and other high-ranking officials to discuss investments to improve food and nutrition security, provide employment opportunities for rural youth and reduce poverty.

Heifer International and UN’s IFAD strengthen partnership to build resilience of rural people

September 2017 - NEWS
Heifer International and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) have agreed to seek opportunities to collaborate on market-driven development, climate-smart agriculture, access to finance and several other areas involving smallholder farmers.

Agriculture Development Partners visiting Dodoma region to meet with authorities and farmers

June 2016 - NEWS
Representatives of thirteen international development agencies working in agriculture and rural development in Tanzania will look at local responses to El Niño impacts during their annual field visit in the Dodoma region from 15 to 17 June 2016.

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Related stories

How public-private-producer-partnerships are transforming agriculture in Tanzania

March 2018 - STORY
Saada and Jerard are two young half-siblings, who were reunited through agriculture. Jerard was raised by his father in Iringa, a transport-hub in central Tanzania. 

Radio and mobile phones bring life-changing solutions to rural women

March 2018 - STORY
As thousands of farmers in central Tanzania battle with long spells of dry weather and erratic rainfall, with little hope of feeding their families, Juliana Yusuph is no longer worried.

Better feed for cows benefits dairy farmers in India and Tanzania

August 2017 - STORY
Innovative strategies increase milk production and boost small farmers’ food security and livelihoods.

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Related publications

Resilient Food Systems 2018-2019 Annual Report

March 2020
Discover how the Resilient Food Systems programme is enhancing long-term sustainability and resilience for food security in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fighting poverty with bamboo

July 2019
For millions of poor people in East and Southern Africa, bamboo has huge potential to alleviate poverty, protect the environment and help achieve the SDGs. 

Research Series Issue 36: Who works in agriculture?

April 2019
This analysis examines the dynamics of youth employment in agriculture and the agri-food system in Tanzania and Malawi.

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