DODOMA, July 12th, 2023 –
In a push towards transforming Tanzania’s agricultural sector, AGRA ((Sustainably Growing Africa’s Food Systems) has unveiled a strategic five-year plan today. This progressive initiative is set to enhance competitive and inclusive markets, benefiting an estimated three million Tanzanian farmers directly.
Hon. Mizengo Pinda, Chair of the Presidential Food and Agriculture Council and former Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania addressed the audience at the launch, acknowledging Tanzania’s significant progress and highlighting the prevailing peace throughout the nation. However, he also candidly acknowledged the persisting issue of poverty in rural villages.
While Tanzania has made great strides, we must continue combatting income poverty and giving food systems the prominence they deserve. “We have the land, we have all that is needed. We need to prioritize developing and improving food systems to create sustainable livelihoods and uplift rural communities.”
Hon. Pinda also expressed confidence in AGRA’s positive history in Tanzania and the potential impact of the Tanzania Country Strategy. He hopes these initiatives will go a long way in addressing the challenges.
On his part, Hon. Abdallah Ulega, Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, noted: “In our pursuit of enhanced food systems, we must appreciate the triad of crop farming, livestock farming, and fisheries. Their collective significance is the key to our food security.”
AGRA’s Regional Head, East Africa, Prof. Jean Jacques M. Muhinda said: “The strategic plan we are launching today is our third cycle of investment in the country. Out of the 11 countries we supported in the last Strategy (2017-2022), Tanzania, together with Burkina Faso in West Africa, are the two countries that received the highest resources.”
“We wish to match resources and co-invest together in areas of markets development, building resilience of farming systems, creation of work opportunities for youth and women, access to finance by value chain actors, trade of agricultural commodities domestically and regionally.”
He said achieving food systems transformation in Tanzania is possible. “It only requires partnerships, synergies, leveraging on each other, and a shared vision.”
Minister of Agriculture – Hon. Hussein Mohamed Bashe, represented by Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Gerald Geofrey Mweli said: “Tanzania aims to become the food granary for Africa and the rest of the world. We are committed to unlocking the agriculture sector’s potential, which currently contributes 25% of our GDP and is a major foreign exchange earner and source of jobs and wealth. The government has prioritised the sector to create more livelihoods while ensuring that youth and women are included.”
The AGRA Tanzania Country Strategy aims to enhance productivity and promote employment opportunities for women and youth in the agricultural value chain. The strategy will tackle four key business lines: seed systems, sustainable farming, inclusive markets & trade, and policy & state capability.
The strategy sets forth plans to enhance the agricultural markets by fostering value addition and boosting trade proficiency. It’s projected that this will benefit three million farmers nationwide by giving them access to these improved product markets. The implementation of the activities will primarily concentrate on key regions, namely the Western Highlands, Central Region, Southern Highlands, Northern Highlands, and Zanzibar. The initiative will focus primarily on vital crops such as maize, sorghum, beans, cassava, sunflower, soybean, wheat, potato, and various horticultural crops.
AGRA has been working in Tanzania since 2006. Its work has involved attracting investment, supporting policy reform and delivering tools, knowledge and support to farmers. This includes the Tanzania Agro-Industrialization Development Flagship, a public-private partnership that has mobilized US$300 million in funding, benefiting more than one million farmers. The government also created various tax incentives to attract private-sector investment.
The launch of the new strategy comes as Tanzania prepares to host the Africa Food Systems Forum 2023 (AGRF) from September 4th – 8th in Dar-Es-Salaam. AGRF is Africa’s premier platform for advancing the agriculture and food systems agenda.
The summit will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, leaders, policymakers, scientists, heads of governments, private institutions, farmers, and youth, to agree on practical solutions for Africa’s food systems.
“This year’s Forum promises to be a critical milestone in Africa’s journey towards food security and shared prosperity. The 2023 summit theme, Regenerate, Recover, Act: Africa’s solutions to Food Systems Transformation, seeks to ensure the African continent plays and showcases its leadership role in transforming food systems to produce sufficiently more and nutritious food locally, and improving how it is produced particularly in a changing climate context.” Noted Amath Pathe, Managing Director, AGRF.
Africa remains a net food importer, and the food import bill will continue to rise without action from $43 billion in 2019 to $110 billion in 2025.
Founded in 2006, AGRA, formerly known as the Alliance for Green Revolution is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyse Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.
For media interviews and enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org