The European Union (EU) has allocated nearly Sh400 billion to support Tanzania’s sustainable agriculture between 2014 and 2020.
The EU head of delegation to Tanzania, Ambassador Roeland van de Geer, disclosed this when addressing Members of Parliament during celebrations to mark the Europe Day 2018 recently.
Agriculture is among the key sectors that the EU supports in Tanzania with a view to achieving inclusive development.
“In Tanzania, the agriculture sector employs majority of the rural population. A lot of them are self-employed on their own farms with women smallholder farmers making up 65 per cent of the total labour force in the sector,” said the envoy.
Agriculture is Tanzania’s economic mainstay which accounted for 30.1 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. The sector is also estimated to provide 65 per cent of industrial raw materials and employ 65 per cent of Tanzanian working population.
“Women have a fundamental role to play in the agriculture sector in Tanzania. However, women face persistent challenges such as unequal access to capital, labour, knowledge and business networks. These challenges should be solved by raising awareness and addressing the gender imbalance,” he added.
The EU support to Tanzania centres on three sectors which it says contribute largely to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the EU-Tanzania relations and are coherent with both the government’s national development strategies and the EU Agenda for Change.
The sectors are good governance and development, Energy and sustainable agriculture.
On trade, he said over 1,000 European companies are active in Tanzania in agriculture, transport, construction and service provision.
According to him, almost 100,000 jobs were attributed to the European companies in Tanzania.
The celebrations of the Europe Day 2018 in the newly declared city were also accompanied by exhibitions and an Iftar for lawmakers and other invited stakeholders.
The EU will also commemorate Europe Day with another event in Arusha with the East African Community on Wednesday.