TANZANIA has received a financial grant of 9.4 million Euros (about 24bn/-), from the government of Finland for the implementation of participatory forestry plantation programme phase II.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mr Doto James, inked the documents for the grant agreements with the Finish Charge d’ Affairs in Tanzania, Mr Kari Leppanen, in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Speaking after signing the agreements, the PS thanked the government of Finland for the financial support, pointing further that it was not the first time the European country support development programmes in Tanzania.
“The overall objective of the programme is to promote sustainable and inclusive plantation forestry that contributes to Tanzania’s economic growth and poverty alleviation,” he noted.
Mr James mentioned key activities that will be implemented to include strengthening tree growers associations. Building stakeholder’s capacity in tree growing through management of plantation and assisting villages to develop land use plans.
Others are improving quality of forestry products along the processing value chain as well as increased capacity and resources to manage forest fires. He said that the programme will create socially sensitive, environmentally sustainable, financially profitable plantation forest sector in the project areas in Songea, Iringa, Njombe and Morogoro regions.
On his part, Mr Kari Leppanen said it takes 80 years in Finland for a planted tree to be harvested while in Tanzania the same tree only needs 12 years to mature for harvesting.
“Therefore we believe that forests may play a huge role in Tanzania’s economy. In Finland our economy still largely depends on forest sector even if our environment is far less conducive to grow trees than that of your country,” he pointed out.
The envoy said by managing forests right they can provide livelihoods and restore the environment at the same time. Mr Leppanen further pointed out that the programme will help communities and the private sector increase their incomes from forests.
“Current development cooperation with Tanzania is guided by a strategy aligning and supporting the goals of the Tanzania Five Year Development Plan II and Vision 2025,” he explained. The programme will be implemented for four years 2019-2022.