Tanzania Daily News | 16 August 2010
Dar Es Salaam — A delegation of Korea experts from the Korean Rural Community Cooperation (KRC) in South Korea was expected to arrive in the country on Sunday to sign a pact with the Rufiji River Basin Development Authority (RUBADA).
The RUBADA Director General, Mr Aloyce Masanja, said the delegation will be led by the company's Executive Director, Mr Han Sang Woo, and will visit the project site at the Rufiji River Basin during their brief stay in the country.
Mr Masanja said the Koreans have plans invest more than 50 million US dollars (about 70bn/- ) in the first phase of the project that would cover five years. He said that about 10,000 hectares would be cultivated and 5,000 more would be utilized for small industries and Economic Processing Zone (EPZ).
"The first 5,000 hectares will be utilized through the demonstration of irrigation rice farming between KRC experts and RUBADA and the next 5000 hectares will be utilized by Tanzanians and according to the plan all the projects are scheduled to start immediately," he said.
However, Mr Masanja said initially, the projects will start with about six month of feasibility study that will draw the actual volume of investments needed to more than 80,000 hectares potential for irrigation farming at the Lower Rufiji.
According to Mr Masanja, the project will involve various sectors including agriculture, small industries and locally manufactured farm inputs. Another substantial land will be allocated for large local enterprises and small scale farmers.
The DG further said that the project also plans to involve students graduating from various colleges, majoring in agricultural studies who will then be provided with jobs and land for practical studies.
At an advanced stage of the project, farmers would be given loans for tractors, power tillers, farm inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides to help them change from traditional methods to modern farming.
Lower Rufiji is part of the Rufiji River Basin which has an abundant land of about 17 million hectares covering seven regions of the Tanzania Mainland.
Earlier this month, the government signed three bilateral arrangements under which South Korea will provide a loan worth 124.1m US dollars or 173.7bn/- from its Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) on a concessional loan basis.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Ramadhani Khijah, said shortly after the signing ceremony that the loan would be spent on funding water, electricity and health projects in the country.
"The first arrangement is for improved water supply system in Dodoma town at the cost of 49.6m US dollars or 69.5bn/-. The second is for the construction of Muhimbili University of Allied Sciences (MUHAS) Medical Centre at Mloganzila at the cost of 49.5m US dollars or 69.3bn/-. The third one is for the construction of the Kilimanjaro-Arusha transmission line and sub-station in Kilimanjaro region worth 25m US dollars or 35bn/-," he explained.Mr Khijah commended the Korean government for the loan, saying that it was timely and of great impact on the country's development.