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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Tanzania T Agricultural Research Project II

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Tanzania T Agricultural Research Project II
Project Costs(US $M)
 22.98  22.83
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 21.75  21.40
Sector, Major Sect.:
Agricultural extension and research, Central government administration,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
06/30/2003 06/30/2004
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
John C. English
Roy Gilbert Alain A. Barbu OEDSG

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The objectives of the project were to (a) increase efficiency and productivity of crop and livestock production systems, with sustainable use of natural resources, and particular focus on the needs of the smallholder sector through the generation and dissemination of new agricultural technologies; (b) support the institutional development of the national agricultural research system and the decentralization to Zonal Research Councils (ZRCs) of financial resource management, operational decision making and the formulation of research agendas; (c) support privatization of agricultural research, where appropriate; and (d) encourage client-oriented adaptive research including strengthening linkages between farmers, extension agents, and agricultural researchers. The project was designed as a second phase of support for the incremental strengthening of Tanzania's agricultural technology system.

b. Components
The project had three components:

Institutional development: (Appraisal estimate US$2.93 million: Reported expenditure US$3.1 million) The project financed civil works, equipment, and technical assistance and other services for activities to (i) redefine the roles of the then Department of Research and Training, the National Agricultural Research Council (NARC) and Zonal Research Councils (ZRCs) with emphasis on stakeholder participation; (ii) establish Zonal Executive Committees (ZECs) with substantial representation of research users; (iii) develop effective arrangements for donor coordination and for coordination of regional and other collaborative research programs; (iv) undertake phased consolidation of the research establishment; and (v) prepare initiatives for privatizing research, as feasible.
Research programs support: (Appraisal estimate US$8.50 million; Reported expenditure US$ 8.09 million). This component (i) provided incremental operating costs for the priority research programs in food crops, livestock and other programs such as agro-forestry and soil conservation; (ii) financed civil works, equipment and services to strengthen research infrastructure at Sokoine Agricultural University (SUA) and provide support for research programs there; (iii) established Zonal Agricultural Research Funds (ZARFs) on a pilot basis in a few zones, and to establish guidelines for operating ZARFs on a demand-driven basis; and (iv) support of breeder seed production at the zonal research stations.
Resource development and management: (Appraisal estimate US$11.55 million; Reported expenditure US$11.64). The project provided finance for civil works, equipment, technical assistance, consulting and other services for: (i) strengthening human resource development for the research system; (ii) selectively rehabilitate research stations, equipment and infrastructure; (iii) strengthening communications, documentation and library services, and research M & E. and (iv) assisting SUA for carrying out approved training programs.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
The final expenditure on the project was US$22.83 million, or 99.4 percent of the appraisal estimate and the expenditure on each of the three main components was within 6 percent of the appraisal estimate. However, comparison of what was proposed with what was actually carried out is handicapped by the fact that there were no detailed tables of costs by components in the PAD. The ICR indicates that the breakdown of expenditures by category was:
Civil works appraisal estimate US$2.55 million. Reported final expenditure US$3.46 million
Goods ......................... US$4.14 million ......................................... US$4.17 million
Services, Training .......................... US$8.75 million ......................................... US$3.90 million
and research grants
Operations and maintenance ...........US$7.54 million ........................................ US$11.30 million

These figures indicate that there were far more significant changes in what was planned at the outset than is implied by the broad component cost/expenditure figures. A reallocation of the proceeds was agreed in 2002 to switch funds from services, training and research grants to operations and maintenance and, to a lesser extent, to civil works. The cost figures are complicated by the fact that, in addition to the IDA operation, the PAD also indicates that an additional US$23.10 million was to be provided by bilateral donors to support the research effort. Availability of such funding may also be the reason for some of these changes but the ICR does not discuss this.
The closing date was extended once, by 12 months. The reason for the extension is not given in the ICR.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The project appears to have achieved its objectives. It generated a number of technologies, improved crop varieties etc, that were instrumental in increasing productivity in crop and livestock production systems and, thereby, incomes in the smallholder sector. The proposed ZRCs, ZECs and Zonal Technical Committees (ZTCs), in which zonal stakeholders are empowered to determine and influence the research budget and agenda in their respective zones, were established and successfully operationalised in all seven zones of the country. As a result, there is now an increased input from other stakeholders (primarily farmers) into the design and review of the effort. There was also significantly increased private funding for aspects of the research program, particularly coffee and tea.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

Impact. A large number of new technologies, including the release of new varieties, agronomic and resource management practices, post-harvest technologies, livestock production and disease control were developed and recommended for use by farmers. These have been adopted at moderate rates to date and adoption can be scaled up. Yield increases among collaborating farmers were close to those projected at appraisal. Among 17 crops, collaborators achieved higher yields than non-collaborating farmers in 14 (6 of the differences being significant), indicating a general improvement generated from the new varieties or treatments generated through the research/extension effort.

Decentralization. Zonal meetings of the newly established committees strengthened the interaction between researchers and stakeholders, thus making the research agenda more focussed, client oriented and demand-driven.The project largely achieved its core objective of developing and strengthening a more efficiently managed national agricultural research system (NARS) in Tanzania. .
Research resource development. The large program of activities including training, and upgrading of systems, facilities and equipment, including rehabilitation of equipment and infrastructure at selected research stations, and overall strengthening communications, documentation and library services for the research system, was largely completed as programmed.

5. Significant Shortcomings (include non-compliance with safeguard features):

Although the relevant committee structure, etc. was established, decentralization of activities was handicapped by the scarcity of skilled staff in some of the regional centers, particularly for accounting and management of works, where governmental pay scales were often inadequate to attract suitably qualified start. This was a problem throughout and was only exacerbated by the reorganization of the ministries which disrupted the accounting systems that had been established. As a result there were delays in preparation of and reimbursement of statements of expenditure for local level expenditures, thus hampering day-to-day operations.

These problems led to delays in implementation, and inadequate works supervision of some of the infrastructure rehabilitation works, and the quality of construction was reported as unsatisfactory by the final supervision mission. It is not clear that adequate steps have yet been taken to rectify the deficiencies in these works.
The wide-ranging nature of the activities supported by the project and their wide geographic dispersion, created problems in monitoring performance and impact. During implementation it became apparent that the set of Key Project Indicators, laid out at the outset of the project, and the initial baseline survey, were not really adequate for the task. As a result, there was no clear baseline against which the outcome of several of the activities pursued by the project could be compared. This meant that it was difficult to get any sort of fix, for example, on the extent of adoption of the developed varieties, practices or technologies. The best that could be done was to make comparisons at the individual operator level between adopters and non-adopters.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Institutional Dev.:
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

  • Key performance indicators that can measure the achievements or impact of a project or program should be clearly defined during project preparation in order to guide the monitoring and evaluation system and must be consistent with the goals and structure of the operation.
  • Decentralization of the management of agricultural research, by enabling closer links between those making decisions on research programs and other stakeholders, can result in improved performance and impact, but the decentralization must be coherent, including management of finances and procurement, as well as technical decisions.
  • To be effective an agricultural research system must maintain a critical mass of skilled and experienced staff and this may require modifications to terms of service in order that service be sufficiently attractive to ensure retention of those key staff.

8. Audit Recommended?  No


9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

On balance, this ICR is satisfactory, but only marginally so: it provides much detail on project related activities, but does not sufficiently link these with outcomes. Admittedly, the project was complex with a wide range of activities. Moreover, the task of the ICR was made difficult by a poor definition of project objectives, and of the scope and cost of the proposed components, in the project appraisal documentation.

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