The agricultural sector in Tanzania is highly important since it accounts for a quarter of GDP, 20% of export value. 32 million people (equivalent to three forth of the entire population) live in rural areas and 80% of them are involved in the agricultural sector. It should be noted that poverty rate of the rural area amounts to 33.3% while that of urban areas is 21.7%. In this sense, agriculture development plays an integral part in not only economic growth but also in poverty reduction in this country. However the growth rate of agriculture for the past several years (4-5%/year) has failed to achieve the national target (6-10%/year) and poverty reduction is also lagging behind. Thus, further development is indispensable in the agricultural sector.
In 2009, President Kikwete launched "Kilimo Kwanza (Agriculture First)". "Kilimo Kwanza" (KK) aims to realize "Green Revolution" which is expected to contribute to the modernization/commercialization of agriculture and poverty reduction. The Government of Tanzania puts priority on agricultural development by promoting KK.
Tanzania is one of the first group countries in the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD). The Government formulated the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS), which aims at increasing rice production in Tanzania from 0.89Mt (2008) to 1.96Mt (2018).
After establishing the Agricultural Sector Development Program (ASDP) as a framework for agricultural development, the Government of Tanzania has been promoting agricultural development under that program. JICA, as one of the development partners that contributed in the formulation of ASDP, continuously supports the effective implementation and further strengthening of the framework of ASDP through financial and technical assistance.
Also, to enhance the implementation of CARD/NRDS, JICA keeps on promoting irrigation development, irrigation human resource development as well as dissemination of paddy and upland rice cultivation technology.
In addition, JICA is considering the possibility of promoting agro-industry thus enhancing the growth of the agricultural sector.