On Monday, the Norwegian government signed a US$3 mln deal with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) aimed at supporting the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA). The FtMA is an initiative aimed at enabling smallholder farmers to access farm inputs and markets for their produce.
Norwegian Minister for International Development Nikolai Astrup signed the agreement on behalf of the Norwegian government, while UN WFP Country Director Michael Dunford signed on behalf of WFP. The signing ceremony was held in Dar es Salaam.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, the visiting Norwegian minister said achieving the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) had been his government's priority, especially in terms of attaining food security. He said his government was pleased to support an initiative aimed at affording smallholder farmers to access farm inputs and market for their agricultural produce in the country.
He thanked the government of Tanzania for its commitment to supporting the agricultural sector, saying ever since he arrived in the country he had frank and fruitful discussions with government officials, including President John Magufuli.
"Farm to Market Alliance started in Tanzania three years ago and I am confident that with this initiative, we will achieve the target of reaching out to more than 1.5 million smallholder farmers," he explained.
As described by allafrica.com, the signing ceremony was also attended by Tanzanian Deputy Minister for Agriculture Omar Mgumba, who thanked the Norwegian government for the support, noting that he was pleased to note that Tanzania and Norway had always enjoyed cordial bilateral ties: "We are optimistic that the funding will benefit the intended people.”