Statement by the Minister for Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives to the 30th Session of IFAD's Governing Council

Mr. Chairman,
IFAD President,
Distinguished Governors,
Honourable Guests,
Members of Diplomatic Co-op,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Mr. Chairman, it is a great pleasure for me to have this opportunity to participate and address this Thirtieth Session of the IFAD Governing Council. On behalf of the government and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania and on my own behalf, we present out gratitude and tribute to IFAD in assisting Sub-Saharan Africa and my country in particular, in its efforts towards striving for rural poverty reduction through sustainable agricultural and rural development programmes. Tanzania is according utmost attention to poverty reduction and more so to rural poverty through implementation of the Rural Development Strategy (RDS) and the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy (ASDS).

IFAD is our development partner and is greatly contributing to the implementation of these strategies through its diversified portfolio in the agricultural and rural development; playing a critical and constructive role in assisting the government realize these objectives within the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) among others.

Mr. Chairman, the Fund has financed several projects and programmes in Tanzania. The funded projects have brought positive impact on the beneficiaries in terms of food security and rural poverty reduction. Indeed interventions such as rain water, harvest construction of rural roads and rural financial services have benefited many communities and managed to improve their livelihoods.

Mr. Chairman, the implementation of the pipelined programme in Tanzania, whose objective is to reduce unemployment of rural youth, women and marginalized groups would be a further building block towards improving and strengthening rural community, participation and the involvement of women, youth and vulnerable groups in development activities, capacity building for rural institutions at the same time fostering market-linkages and reduction of rural- urban migration. Concisely, infrastructure facilities in the rural areas must be seen in light of how they affect agricultural production and competitiveness.

Through this programme and the importance placed on agriculture to the nation's economy, it is anticipated that the programme would substantially contribute towards enhancing rural employment and livelihoods leading to productivity gains and greater access to micro-finance to the rural poor.

Mr. Chairman, despite the strategies mentioned above, Tanzania is still facing poverty challenges. Being aware of this problem we are putting more efforts on improving the economic and policy environment by providing conducive institutional framework for sustainable growth and poverty reduction including policy, regulatory systems, good governance, effective and efficient utilization of development resources, excellent dialogue between government and Development Partners, participatory representation and accountability in rural development strategies and programmes. The government is committed to undertake strategies and implement programmes that would promote sustainable agriculture hand in hand with increased rural employment.

Mr. Chairman, poverty reduction and having people without hunger go together, Tanzania will continue to participate and translate IFAD strategies by implementing them nationally as well as regionally through the NEPAD – Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) –  complemented by joint efforts between the government, international communities, multilateral and bilateral groups and other stakeholders.

In Tanzania we have taken up the challenge for an organized partnership for national development and poverty reduction. Recently on 5th December, 2006, the Government and Development Partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a Joint Assistance Strategy for Tanzania which aims to consolidate and deepen the current harmonization and alignment efforts in development and poverty reduction in the country. Among the objectives is to build an effective development partnership in line with national and international commitment to aid effectiveness. Government and Development Partners support is guided by a single Government led framework to achieve the national strategy for growth and reduction of poverty.

With respect to this framework, it is anticipated that IFAD will continue to expand its portfolio under the new Performance Based Allocation System (PBAS) in Tanzania. The PBAS should be an objective instrument and not otherwise in order to enhance development and in particular in the poor stricken populations.

Mr. Chairman, we have noted some progress in the implementation of the Seventh Replenishment that at the time or reporting 20% of the resources have been realized. Mr. Chairman, Tanzania has already paid her contribution to the Seventh Replenishment, and calls upon others to do so in time so as to ensure the availability of resources for implementation of the planned activities under the Seventh Replenishment.

Mr. Chairman, the Auditors have given a true and fair view of the consolidated financial position of the Funds in 2005 financial statements. We wish to congratulate and commend IFAD for their prudent financial management.

Mr. Chairman, IFAD needs resources to do all the good work we see and praise in the field. Tanzania has observed with satisfaction the Programme of Work for 2007, which reflects IFAD's continued commitment to increasing the level of assistance for rural poverty reduction. Furthermore, we note and applaud IFAD for being able to prepare the supporting budget with reduced administrative costs and increased budget for the Programme Development Financing Facility (PDFF) planned at 10.3%.

Last but not least we wish to register that we have had an enhanced working relation with IFAD through the Resident Liaison Office. Our experience now shows that there are a lot of advantages for IFAD being represented in the field. With this representation there has been heightened dialogue and understanding with Government in various important issues of policy, strategies, programmes and the current discussion of the Joint Assistance Strategy for Tanzania. Indeed this approach is greatly supported by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Mr. Chairman, I once again praise IFAD in its lending portfolio to Tanzania which to a great extent will foster rapid and sustainable rural development and growth. I also congratulate IFAD's President and his dedicated staff for the good work they are doing.          

I thank you for your attention

Hon. Stephen Masato Wasira
Minister for Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives – Tanzania