Progress in Eastern and Southern Africa

Issue number 11: March 2009

Message from the Director

Agricultural productivity in Africa is a challenge. In many parts of the world, agricultural productivity and crop yields have increased substantially over the past 20 to 30 years. In Africa, they have remained flat and, in sub-Saharan Africa principal staples are at about half to one third of their potential yield. Yet, improving agricultural productivity is the key for reducing poverty on the continent. A global consensus has emerged that agriculture must move up on the global development agenda, and that investment in agriculture, especially smallholder agriculture, must be increased if the twin goals of poverty reduction and food security are to be achieved. It is estimated that sub-Saharan Africa needs to increase food production five-fold by 2050, just to cope with population growth. In fact, if countries in the region are to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, their agriculture sectors need to grow much faster and maintain annual growth rates of 6.2 percent.

Therefore, agricultural productivity is a top priority for IFAD. Over the Eighth Replenishment period 2010-2012, we will scale up our investments in agricultural productivity, including in technologies and practices of adaptation to climate change in Eastern and Southern Africa.

This requires that we work on every single aspect of the agriculture production chain from regenerating a depleted soil, using better seeds and more fertilizers, whether organic or industrial, to drastically improving the quality of so-called extension services that support agriculture. It implies working on marketing and storage issues, road infrastructure and financial services. Only by tackling all those aspects at once, involving both the public and private sectors, will we manage to improve agriculture productivity in a sustainable way.

Ides de Willebois

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An unrealized potential: increasing agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa

 
 

Agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa is lagging behind. Cereal yields in the region are less than a third of what they are in Asia, and half of what they are in Latin America. After being a net food exporter in the 1960s, Africa has become a net importer, and agricultural imports represent about 15 per cent of total imports. The share of gross export revenues needed to cover food imports has increased from 12 per cent to over 30 per cent in East Africa alone, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In terms of exports, agriculture has generally performed poorly: the relative share of African agricultural exports to world markets fell from 8 per cent in the period from 1971 to 1980 to 3.4 per cent in the period from 1991 to 2000. This decline is partly explained by the rapid growth of the population at a rate that has outstripped the 2 per cent annual increase in food production. But it is also attributed to damaging farming practices, insufficient infrastructure investments and lack of coherent agricultural policies, all of which over the years have translated into declining yields and a decrease in per capita food production.

Vast potential

Yet the potential is vast. FAO estimates that the amount of arable land available in Eastern and Southern Africa could be increased four to five times and could potentially reach a total of 300 million hectares over the whole continent (see Figure 1). Also, it is widely estimated that yields are about 300 per cent below their real potential. According to FAO, between 1980 and 2000 the average annual growth rate of cereal yields was 0.7 per cent in Africa, compared to 2.3 per cent in Asia and 1.9 per cent in Latin America. “Yields in Africa have remained flat over the past 50 years, and have even declined in some cases,” explains Geoffrey Livingston, regional economist in IFAD’s Eastern and Southern Africa Division.

There is a consensus that the sector needs to grow much faster and maintain annual growth rates of about 6.2 per cent if sub-Saharan Africa is to meet the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating poverty by 2015. Some countries will require even higher growth rates, as a result of many years of neglect in the sector. In the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), a strategy for revitalizing and reforming Africa’s agriculture, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has set a goal of 6 per cent for annual growth of agricultural productivity. NEPAD is the economic regeneration programme of the African Union. 

The figures are telling, yet they hide a complex reality. Improved productivity in Africa cannot be achieved only by increasing the use of arable land. And expansion of agricultural land has to be effected in the context of climate change, raising productivity while protecting the natural environment and biodiversity (see Progress, no. 7, March 2008, on climate change). Improving agricultural productivity starts in the field and touches upon every single aspect of the production value chain — from soil to seeds, market access, storage, commercialization and credit availability. Most African farmers can neither access nor afford basic farm inputs. High quality seeds, the organic and mineral fertilizers needed to replenish depleted soils, and simple water management systems are largely beyond their reach. Good roads are scarce. Strong market systems, extension systems and financial systems are lacking. “To improve agricultural productivity, we have to look at the sector as a whole,” explains Philippe Remy, policy coordinator in IFAD’s Policy Division. “We can’t focus on one aspect and ignore the others, it just doesn’t work. We need a holistic approach.”

Soil health a key factor

   
 

In Madagascar, rice is the main staple food.

 

Soil is one of the main components of agriculture. In the past 20 years, detrimental farming practices have depleted the soil of all of its vital nutrients. Farmers, who relied traditionally on leaving the land fallow to regain some of its fertility, have been forced to grow crop after crop to respond to increased demand. And they have had no access to fertilizers (a by-product of oil) because of their high purchase cost. “In general, African farmers pay about three or four times more for fertilizers than farmers in Europe,” said Livingston. As a result, they have been forced to bring less fertile soils on marginal land into production, at the expense of Africa's wildlife and forests. Also, organic matter to restore fertility is lacking in many countries of the region, as a result of insufficient livestock or very high population densities. This issue is being addressed by some IFAD programmes, such as the Support Project for the Strategic Transformation of Agriculture (PAPSTA) in Rwanda, where a livestock chain system in which farmers use compost from cows to grow vegetables is proving successful (see story below).

But using organic matter alone cannot provide a rapid solution on a large scale. Drastically increasing the use of chemical fertilizers has other drawbacks, and it can alter the biological balance of the soil. This was the experience in Asian countries where the green revolution, which relied heavily on subsidized seeds and fertilizers, brought about much higher yields for decades, but also resulted in problems related to soil depletion. “The green revolution has its limits. We ignored the biology of the soil and the natural environment for too long. Now we see that the soil is less fertile,” explains Benoit Thierry, IFAD country programme manager.

Yet fertilizers can still provide a quick fix, even if they are only part of a long-term answer. Malawi is a good example. In 2006/07, the country introduced a large-scale programme, supported by international donors, to boost agriculture by supplying small farmers with highly subsidized inputs. The programme cost about US$90 million, of which 87 per cent was funded by the Government of Malawi. Results were spectacular in terms of production. There was a record maize harvest of 3.4 million tonnes that year, compared to 2.7 million the previous year and 1.2 million the year before that, according to the Overseas Development Institute, a British think tank on international development issues. Critics have argued that the programme was over budget, created market problems and was not viable in the long term. They also attributed the increase in yields to a good rain season. But, according to Remy, “Without the inputs they couldn’t have made the most of the rain season, and the programme addressed a serious food shortage by providing food security.” 

Conservation agriculture: a way forward?

Many organizations now believe that conservation agriculture may be the way forward, using better seeds and natural fertilizers, and rehabilitating ancient techniques while respecting local biodiversity. “We’re looking at rehabilitating and updating traditional techniques that fit into the environment, and at transferring simple new technologies,” explains Thierry. For example, a new rice planting technique developed in Madagascar and known as the system of rice intensification (SRI) is being transferred to Rwanda (see story below). Similarly, agro-forestry techniques also have an unexploited potential to improve productivity while respecting the natural environment. In Comoros, a system of hedging was put in place to protect soil from erosion. As highlighted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the agricultural revolution must rely on sound agro-ecosystem management to improve productivity. AGRA is an IFAD partner, and it develops programmes to boost farm productivity while safeguarding the environment.

Yet conservation agriculture also has its limitations. In Eritrea, the government promoted a system of livestock exclusion areas to regenerate the land under the IFAD-supported Gash Barka Livestock and Agricultural Development Programme. In 2008, under the programme, about 166,000 hectares of livestock exclusion areas were managed by grazers’ associations. But because of low rainfall in 2008, the grazers decided in March to open about 40 per cent of the areas for grazing to cope with the drought. “Because of the drought, we were far from the expected results,” said Abla Benhammouche, IFAD country programme manager. Management of water resources, especially in drought-prone regions, is another key aspect of agricultural productivity (see Progress, no. 8, June 2008, on water).

Market access

Even when all basic resources are available, produce still has to reach the market in time and in good condition. That is another issue that affects productivity. “It’s just as important to pay attention to the marketing aspect of a crop system. Farmers can produce twice as much and earn less if the marketing is bad,” says Livingston. In many instances, because of lack of storage and infrastructure, produce is literally left to rot. Farmers are unable to protect their crops against rodents, or to keep produce in good condition to sell later at a better price. One initiative supported by IFAD in Tanzania has implemented a system of warehousing to help poor farmers store their produce until market prices improve. Upon depositing the crop in the warehouse, the farmer is issued a receipt that can be used to obtain a loan from a savings and credit society for up to 75 per cent of its value (See Progress, no. 4, June 2007, “Tanzania: empowering smallholders through the warehouse receipt system”).

In its Strategic Framework 2007-2010, IFAD has made it a priority to improve access by poor farmers to agricultural technologies and effective production services to enhance productivity. “The challenge for IFAD is to help farmers access productivity-enhancing measures such as seeds and fertilizers and help them adopt better farming methods, and to reinforce the so-called extension services that support agricultural production. All of that has to be done within the constraints of climate change measures,” concludes Livingston.

For further information, please contact:

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The system of rice intensification: a way forward to increase rice productivity?

     
   
 

A farmer tends to a rice nursery in Madagascar.

 

A relatively novel system of planting rice, known as the system of rice intensification (SRI), was developed in the early 1980s in Madagascar, and many see it as the way forward to increase rice productivity. Where implemented, it has shown that it can help boost production yields beyond expectation without increasing input costs.

SRI increases rice production and raises the productivity of land by changing the way farmers manage rice plants, soil, water and nutrients. “SRI is a holistic approach to rice cultivation, from rice nursery to water control, weed control and harvesting,” explains Benoit Thierry, country programme manager for IFAD, who has had experience of SRI in a number of projects in Madagascar. SRI practices are said to lead to healthier and more productive soil and plants by supporting greater root growth and by nurturing the abundance and diversity of soil organisms.

Under the system, seedlings are transplanted very young, usually at 8 to 12 days of growth, instead of a month, and when they have just two small leaves. They are planted carefully and quickly to cause minimum trauma to the roots, and they are planted singly, with only one seedling per hill instead of three or four together, to avoid root competition. They are widely spaced to encourage greater root and canopy growth and they are planted in a square grid pattern of 25 x 25 cm or wider. Because plant populations are greatly reduced, seed costs are cut by 80 to 90 per cent.

Less water use

The system requires up to 50 per cent less water, as fields are not kept flooded. A minimum of water is applied during the vegetative growth period. During the flowering and grain filling stage, only a shallow water cover is maintained on the field. But this system requires labour for weeding, since weeds are a problem in fields that are not kept flooded. Weeding is necessary at least once or twice, starting 10 to 12 days after transplanting, and preferably three or four times before the canopy closes. In most cases, farmers can use a simple and inexpensive mechanical push-weeder, which has the advantage of aerating the soil at the same time.

On the whole, results from SRI are surprising – yields can reach up to 16 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) in some areas, and they generally average about 8 t/ha where the method is conducted carefully. “Even without reaching such extreme levels, if traditional yields of rural smallholders are less than 2 t/ha, it is already a great success when they double,” says Thierry. From 1997 to 2008, SRI was successfully implemented in the north-east and south of Madagascar, where yields rose from 1.7 to 4.3 t/h without use of chemical fertilizers. In the Mandrare area in the south, annual production increased from 1,500 to 25,000 tonnes between 1998 and 2008 on 5,000 hectares, while in the Padane area in the north-east, about 2,000 hectares went under SRI cultivation.

In Rwanda, the SRI method was introduced in 2006 under the Support Project for the Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PAPSTA). Cultivation in two areas has shown the potential of SRI. In Kibaza, rice yields increased from 4 t/ha to at least 6 t/ha, for a total production of 135 tonnes. In Rwabutazi, yields rose from 4 t/ha to at least 7 t/ha, for a total production of 401 tonnes in 2008. Replication of SRI in the marshlands of another project in Rwanda, the Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP), has already begun, with encouraging potential for replication worldwide.

Outside Africa, the Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China conducted a survey of about 100 farms in 2004, comparing yields obtained through SRI methods with those obtained through modern, high-input methods. The latter yielded an average of 7.5 t/ha, while SRI plots yielded an average of 10.5 t/ha. 

Building on traditional know-how

   
 

Two farmers weeding their SRI field in the Menabe region, Madagascar.

 

“The beauty of SRI is that training and extension work use the traditional know-how of rice farmers instead of imposing an expensive and complex technological package,” says Thierry.

Critics of the SRI method argue that there is no scientific evidence of its added value. They also say that it depends largely on the proper environment and cannot be transposed easily from one region to another. In their view, it does not provide a global answer for increasing rice production yields and addressing food security issues.

In Rwanda, for instance, a number of factors hinder full realization of the potential of SRI, but they are linked to the state of infrastructure and organization in the country rather than to the method itself. As a result of accelerated reclamation of marshland in the country, the rice cultivation area has expanded, causing increased demand for seeds and a seed shortage. As a result, farmers are growing seeds of poor quality that have comparatively much lower yields. Unequal distribution and access to water is another constraint, particularly during the dry season. Often, in new marshlands water is sufficient but it is not distributed equitably, or farmers are cut off from water supplies as a result of technical difficulties. Further down the line, it is difficult to organize collective marketing of produce. Producers market their rice individually and realize relatively low prices as a result.

SRI is a work in progress, and improvements are continually being made, such as better implements and techniques that further reduce labour requirements. The majority of surveys so far show a clear increase in yields. Advocates of the method encourage farmers to make their own improvements in SRI methods and to share experiences within the worldwide farming community. “I am a strong believer in SRI, since it doesn’t rely on any rice species or kind of inputs but is flexible and adapted to the varying needs of every type of rice farmer in the world,” concludes Thierry. “SRI is based purely on sound agronomic practices.”

For further information, please contact:

Benoit Thierry, Country Programme Manager, Madagascar
Eastern and Southern Africa Division
Email: b.thierry@ifad.org

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Success Stories from the Field


A model for integrating livestock husbandry and vegetable growing in Rwanda

     
   
 

Uwizeye Goreth of Kirehe District, Rwanda, uses her goats’ manure to fertilize her vegetable garden.

 

An innovative model for increasing agricultural productivity by integrating livestock breeding with vegetable growing was introduced in Rwanda in 2006 under IFAD’s Support Project for the Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PAPSTA). The model was put in place in partnership with the NGO Send a Cow, which developed the concept and has implemented it in other African countries.  “Our model involves three main elements: social development in a group of farmers, livestock raising and vegetable growing on gardening plots,” explains Henry Pomeroy, Send a Cow’s international fund-raising director in Rwanda. PAPSTA, which supports a shift from subsistence to market-based agriculture, is implemented in six districts of Rwanda.

The Send a Cow revolving livestock model helps alleviate poverty by restocking with genetically improved cows and goats, increasing soil fertility through the use of manure and urine, and improving small ruminant productivity for small farms that cannot support a cow. At the same time, farmers are encouraged to grow vegetables as a way to increase their incomes and improve nutrition. Under the scheme in Rwanda, 600 farmers in groups of about 35 received training in technical approaches to livestock raising and vegetable growing, as well as in social issues such as group dynamics, gender and conflict resolution.

At the start, a watershed committee made up of local authorities and farmers’ representatives identified poor farmers in the project area. The farmers were trained for six months to prepare them for receiving livestock. They learned how to grow sufficient fodder for zero-grazing livestock and how to build a shed to the Send a Cow design. They also learned how to make compost from manure to use as natural fertilizer on small vegetable plots near their houses. Once their training was completed, each of the farmers was given a pregnant heifer or three goats

“That was a prerequisite for receiving livestock — each family had to grow vegetables and use compost, following the technique we taught,” Pomeroy explains. Vegetables included staples such as carrots, cabbages, aubergines, leeks and tomatoes. “It is an integrated process of crop and livestock. They work together,” he adds. In addition, the cow provided the family with milk, which is in short supply in Rwanda. “Not only are families self-sufficient now, but they are also growing a surplus that they can sell on the market,” he says.

Transforming communities

An important rule of the Send a Cow model is that a farmer who receives livestock must pass on the livestock’s first female offspring to another of the poor farmers identified by the watershed committee. This system ensures sustainability of the project and reduces costs. It also sparks a transformational process through which a poor person becomes a donor within the person’s own community. “Farmers receive in kind, and so they give in kind,” says Pomeroy. This has a profound effect on farmers’ self-esteem and status. In addition, they are encouraged to share the knowledge they have gained from the training. Vegetable gardens are now being copied by neighbours.

“It’s hard to quantify, but as you move around the project area it’s really tangible, and you can see thriving vegetable plots around houses,” says Claus Reiner, IFAD’s country programme manager for Rwanda.
 
Two years on, Send a Cow has placed a total of 400 cows (200 per year) and has given goats to 800 families (400 per year) in the three districts it covers for PAPSTA. “In total, 1,200 families have already benefited from the project,” Reiner says. Central to the success of the project was the recruitment of three extension workers, based in each of the three districts, close to the groups. They advise farmers on veterinary issues and also provide artificial insemination services when cows are fertile. Intensive extension support is essential in the first two years for the success of the project.

Uwizeye Goreth, from Nyanza in Southern Province, explains, “The goats we received, plus the training in natural farming techniques, have transformed our family life. Manure from the goats has rejuvenated the soil of our small plot, and we expect better yields of climbing beans this season.

 “Our family now has vegetables to eat the whole year round and we generate income from selling surplus vegetables, which enables us to buy some home necessities like salt, kerosene and soap.”

This year, a further 900 households will be trained and supplied with livestock once fodder and sheds are ready. The initial farmers continue to receive support from the extension workers. The Send a Cow scheme also operates in Uganda, Ethiopia and Lesotho with funding from IFAD.

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Farmers field schools help transform the lives of farmers in Zanzibar

     
   
 

Chairperson for Nguvu Sawa farmer’s group, Mwashamba Alhaji, showing a ‘sign board’ for her group.

 

Over centuries, the Zanzibar Archipelago, also known as the Spice Islands, off the coast of East Africa and part of the United Republic of Tanzania, has been an important international commodity trading centre. However, islanders did not always benefit from the trade as the key business players were foreigners. Today poverty levels are still high among various socio-economic groups, especially small-scale farmers in rural areas.

To improve their livelihood and help increase agricultural productivity, an IFAD supported programme, the Agricultural Services Support Programme and the Agricultural Sector Development Programme - Livestock (ASSP/ASDP-L) implemented an innovative adult education approach, Farmer Field Schools (FFS). Unlike traditional approaches, which rely on extension workers providing advice to farmers, FFS enable groups of farmers to find out the answers for themselves. That means farmers can develop solutions to their own problems. They are far more likely to put what they have learned into practice than if they had been presented with ready-made but possibly inappropriate solutions. FFS have proven to be a very useful approach for helping African farmers improve how they manage their land and water. Numerous projects throughout Africa have shown that they result in improved soils, better yields and higher income for farmers. The approach was first developed in Southeast Asia in the late 1980s for pest management.

In Zanzibar, FFS were set up for both livestock and crop growing to improve farming techniques. By the end of 2008, the ASSP/ASDP-L had established 217 farmer field schools, with a total membership of 4,192 farmers. The training is given by facilitators who are professional agricultural extension officers working with the ASSP/ASDP-L, and ranges from the management of farming activities in livestock to the selection of better seeds that will yield a good harvest.

The farmer field school’s members engage in a farming activity that depends on the type of crop grown in the area.

Some schools are involved in cultivating bananas, paddy, cassava or vegetables, while others are engaged in livestock husbandry. Just over half of the farmers attending farmer field schools are women. “Most of these FFS are led by women, in an effort to ensure the high participation of women in economic activities,” said Zaki Khamis, coordinator for the ASSP/ASDP-L programme in Zanzibar.

   
 

Members of Penye Nia Pana Njia Farmers Field School listening to a facilitator during a training session.

 

Mwajina Hassan Nassib, the wife of a retired soldier, grows vegetables and keeps a dairy goat at her vegetable farm in Kitope, about 20 km north of Zanzibar Town. Her farm plot is about one hectare. She grows tomatoes, amaranth, onions, eggplants and other produce, which she sells locally to individual consumers and nearby hotels. She is one of the farmers who have benefited from the FFS training offered by ASSP/ASDP-L. Likewise, her neighbors have also adopted the new farming methods. “I am earning more than before,” she said. “I can now pay school fees for my children and I am able to support other extended family members.” Mwajina’s goat provides manure for her farm, thus she does not have to buy industrial fertilizer. She earns money by selling vegetables, which she can use to buy medicine and feed for her goat.  In her view, marketing is not a problem as the market is not saturated. But she faces other challenges. One is the scarcity of water to irrigate her farm during the dry season. “I sometimes use tap water for irrigation but it is too expensive, as I have to pay a monthly bill for it. And that reduces the profit margin on the produce,” she explained.

Poultry provides an important source of income for smallholders on Zanzibar. Farmers were previously using a free range method whereby chickens were free to roam about in search of food. They didn’t have proper housing and feed, resulting in low poultry production and loss of income. The FFS established groups of 15 to 20 farmers to provide them with the knowledge and skills to better manage their farming activities. They learnt to develop a semi-intensive system and build a poultry house.

Mwashamba Alhaji is a poultry farmer. She also heads a farmers’ group named Nguvu Sawa, literally ‘Equal Opportunity for All’, based in Jumbi in the outskirts of Stone Town. “For years I have been practicing a free-range system, which I now realize was a waste of time and resources. I did not make as much profit as I am now earning through the use of improved poultry farming technology,” she said. “Under the old method, if you wanted to sell your chickens it was difficult to catch them. Now, the chickens are partially confined so it is easier to manage them. Likewise, if you keep them free range there are a lot of disadvantages, such as vermin, theft and even disease transmission,” she added. Her neighbors have become aware of the good income she is earning from poultry farming. They, too, have started to adopt the new method. “I organized my neighbors into a group, and collectively we gathered building materials for our poultry house, which serves as a training centre for the group where we learn new farming practices and share skills with others,” she explained.
    
Despite many challenges, the impact of the ASSP/ASDP-L is clear as the community becomes aware of the benefits from training in poultry and vegetable farming. Poverty is still a major challenge and most farmers cannot conduct their agricultural activities as they would like to. However, as Khamis pointed out, the good thing about this initiative is the fact that farmers receive knowledge that is both theoretical and practical. “The initiative helps empower farmers to manage their activities in a profitable way, and in this way it empowers them to fight poverty,” said Khamis.

For further information, please contact:

Yussuf Kajenje, Communications and Knowledge Management Officer, Country Programme, Tanzania
Email: kajenje2002@yahoo.com

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News & events



Report on the 2008 regional implementation workshop

The region’s implementation workshop for 2008 took place from 10 to 14 November in Kampala, Uganda. Discussions focused on the theme “Public-private partnerships: the future of agricultural development”.

The objective of the workshop, hosted by the Government of Uganda, was to share experiences and lessons around this theme learned in project implementation. The workshop attracted more than 180 participants from 21 countries in the region and from IFAD headquarters.

Participants shared experiences of public-private partnerships in tea in Rwanda, lucerne in Swaziland, wool and mohair in Lesotho, root crops in Zimbabwe, promotion of value chains in Uganda and SMS marketing in Zambia.

Participants also made field visits to IFAD-funded programmes and projects in Uganda, including the Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP), the Area-Based Agricultural Modernization Programme (AAMP), the Rural Financial Services Programme and the National Agricultural Advisory Services Programme (NAADS). The public-private partnership in the oil palm project in Bugala Island was singled out as a highly successful example that should be replicated.

For building successful public-private partnerships, participants identified the need for clear national policies and guidelines to enable key stakeholders to understand and play the roles expected of them. Equally important is the need for strong farmer-based organizations to ensure economic benefits for and social inclusion of smallholder farmers. IFAD was commended for focusing support on these farmers by strengthening farmers’ organizations.

Participants identified knowledge management and clear communication strategies in projects as key elements in enabling lesson learning and replication of successful experiences.

Workshop participants also discussed IFAD’s new policy shifts, particularly the move towards direct supervision, which aims to improve the quality of IFAD-financed country programmes.

For further information, please contact:
Pontian Muhwesi, Country Officer, Uganda
Email: p.muhwezi@ifad.org

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IFAD Tanzania Country Team: aiming high to achieve targets

From January 27 to 31 the IFAD Tanzania Country Programme team conducted a one-day COSOP review meeting in Dar es Salaam, followed by a team building event in Zanzibar. Members of the country team who attended the two events reviewed progress and challenges in implementation of the Tanzania portfolio in the course of 2008. They also discussed strategies for improved programme implementation in 2009 under the theme, “Improved Disbursement”. A unique feature of the two events was the representation of the ESA director by the regional economist in the COSOP review, and the facilitation of the team building event by the senior programme manager of PMD (Cheikh Sourang) and the ESA portfolio adviser (David Rendall).

During the team building workshop, participants worked to internalize the outcomes of the COSOP review into their respective project interventions. Issues regarding the annual work plan and budget (AWPB), knowledge management, disbursement and the results and impact management systems (RIMS) were thoroughly discussed.

Participants also made field trips to meet and discuss with smallholder farmers in their localities. The field visit was a genuine learning exercise, as participants heard about the challenges and opportunities of the agricultural sector directly from those involved. Participants agreed to enhance the sharing of knowledge among projects and all other partners within and outside IFAD. At the end of the two crucial meetings, the team came up with an Action Plan for 2009 which is considered to be goal-specific, with targets that can be monitored easily in order to achieve IFAD’s goal of enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty in Tanzania.

Read more:

For further information, please contact:

Samuel Eremie, Country Programme Manager, Tanzania
Eastern and Southern Africa Division
Email: s.eremie@ifad.org

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Grants, loans and COSOPS approved by the Executive Board, December 2008

Regional grants

Country loans and grants

Country Strategic Opportunities Programmes (COSOPs)

A COSOP was presented for Ethiopia

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Grants, loans and COSOPs to be approved by the Executive Board, April 2009

Country loans and grants

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Appointments

There were no new appointments during this period.

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