AGRA Tanzania’s Year in Review: 2023 – Agricultural Advancements and Food Systems Transformation Team

Under AGRA 3.0, our strategic approach will take a food systems lens and prioritize inclusivity. We aim to create employment opportunities for youth and women in the agricultural value chain- Vianey Rweyendela, the Country Director, AGRA Tanzania.

AGRA Tanzania’s journey through 2023 was marked by significant achievements and challenges in advancing the agriculture and food systems agenda. The organization played an instrumental role in shaping Tanzania’s agricultural landscape and contributing to broader agricultural development across the African continent. The following summary provides an in-depth look at the key events and milestones that defined AGRA Tanzania’s efforts in 2023.

January 2023: Engagement in the Dakar 2 Summit

The year began with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s participation in the Dakar 2 Summit, a pivotal gathering co-hosted by the African Development Bank Group and the Senegalese government. The summit, themed “Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience,” brought together African leaders to address critical issues of food sufficiency and resilience. AGRA Chairman Hailemariam Desalein and President Dr. Agnes Kalibata played pivotal roles in urging President Samia to endorse the summit’s declaration, which aimed to achieve self-sufficiency in food production and create opportunities for increased agricultural output across Africa.

In response to this encouragement, President Samia established the “Presidential Food and Agriculture Delivery Bureau” in Tanzania, a significant step towards enhancing food sufficiency by coordinating efforts across government, development partners, and private sector financing. Her commitment was reinforced by interactions with fellow African leaders, highlighting Tanzania’s potential in agriculture and her personal dedication to this cause.

February 2023: Dr. Jakaya Kikwete’s Appointment

A key event in February was the appointment of Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, the 4th President of Tanzania, as the Chair of the Africa Food Prize Committee. This prestigious position was conferred during the African Union Summit at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Africa Food Prize is a highly regarded award recognizing exceptional achievements in transforming African agriculture from basic subsistence to a prosperous and sustainable sector.

Dr. Kikwete’s presidency from 2005 to 2015 saw notable progress in agriculture in Tanzania, with increased food production, improved rural livelihoods, and enhanced market access for farmers. His appointment reflected his dedication to evidence-based policies and regional collaboration, aligning perfectly with the Africa Food Prize’s mission to drive sustainable and inclusive development of food systems across the continent.

March 2023: Launch of Africa’s Food System Forum

March marked a pivotal moment with the launch of the Africa’s Food System Forum 2023, initiated by President Samia Suluhu Hassan. This significant event signified a major advancement in the continent’s journey towards sustainable agricultural development. Supported by AGRA, the Forum became Africa’s leading platform for dialogue and progress in agriculture and food systems.

The Forum’s theme, “Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation,” reflected a commitment to innovation and transformation in the continent’s approach to food systems. The event achieved extraordinary media coverage and public engagement, broadcast live by numerous television and radio stations and featured on various online platforms. Its widespread coverage made it one of the most-watched non-political, non-sporting events in Tanzanian history.

May 2023: Pre-AGRF-2023 Summit Events

In May, AGRA Tanzania organized three major events leading up to the AGRF-2023 Summit, demonstrating its commitment to sustainable and resilient food systems in Africa. These included the launch of the Tanzania Agribusiness Deal Room in Dar es Salaam, a dynamic platform for promoting agricultural entrepreneurship; the Value4Her Women in Agribusiness Convention, which provided networking and investment opportunities for over 152 women agripreneurs; and the commencement of registration for the AGRF-2023 Summit, underlining Tanzania’s proactive approach in ensuring the success of this significant event.

August 2023: AGRA’s Five-Year Strategy and RFCN

In August, AGRA unveiled its ambitious five-year strategic plan for Tanzania. The strategy, encompassing seed systems, sustainable farming, inclusive markets, policy support, and cross-cutting themes such as climate adaptation and nutrition, aimed to impact three million Tanzanian farmers. AGRA also issued a Request for Concept Notes (RFCN) to support this strategy, seeking to engage a wide range of stakeholders and focusing on strategy objectives to achieve country-level impact.

Mid-Term Review of ASDP II

AGRA Tanzania, in collaboration with the Tanzanian government, held a significant event for the mid-term review and re-planning of the Agricultural Sector Development Programme II (ASDP II). This program focused on improving agricultural productivity and food security. The review evaluated progress, identified challenges, and planned future actions, indicating considerable advancement towards sustainable agricultural development in Tanzania.

September 2023: AGRF 2023 Summit

The AGRF 2023 Summit, held from September 5-8 in Dar es Salaam, marked a transformative shift in Africa’s pursuit of food security. With the theme “Recover, Regenerate, Act,” the summit spurred tangible change, securing $4 billion in commitments for food production, market access, and sustainability. It amplified the voices of thousands of farmers, attracted significant investments for youth-led agritech initiatives, and launched the Africa Agriculture Status Report, providing a strategic roadmap for evidence-based policy development.

AGRA Tanzania’s 2023 activities reflect a deep commitment to enhancing agricultural practices and food security in Tanzania and across Africa. The organization’s involvement in significant events and strategic initiatives marked a year of profound impact and progress towards agricultural transformation. Each milestone underscores AGRA Tanzania’s role in shaping a sustainable and prosperous agricultural future for the continent.