*Adoption of climate-smart seed technologies, fertilizers and capacity building to increase production, trade
By AJM Muchoki
Tanzania is committed to supporting and driving efforts to build food security, transform food systems, and create a sustainable, profitable, and productive agricultural ecosystem, per the 12th AGRF SUMMIT DECLARATION.
Vice President Dr Philip Mpango represented President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the Summit, where the Heads of State stressed the need to boost Africa’s food production to reduce imports, be better able to withstand shocks, and increase public expenditure.
Despite Tanzania being self-food sufficient and the bread basket of the region, Dr Mpango asserted the agriculture sector had a long way to go in adopting modern technology, including higher uptake of fertilizers to increase productivity; thus, huge investments from donors and public and private sectors are needed.
Africa Agriculture Status Report 2022, released at AGRF, citing New Growth International (NGI), noted that Tanzania’s agrifood system transformation investment up to 2030 annually requires USD 6,095,600,000. Of the amount, the public sector needs to invest USD 1,219,100,000 and the private sector USD 4,876,500,000 to leverage food system performance. (Page 64- https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/AASR-2022.pdf)
Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President-elect, Alvaro Lario, the former Nigerian President and outgoing Chair of the Africa Food Prize Committee, Olusegun Obasanjo, among others, attended the high profile summit.
“We have embraced food systems as the guiding principle for producing, processing, marketing, and consuming food. We will build resilience at every level of our agricultural value chains. Sustainable food systems are the only pathway to achieving the key sustainable development goal of ending hunger by 2030,” notes the declaration of the Summit.
According to Dr Mpango, Tanzania increased its budget allocation to agriculture from US$125million to US$ 404 million, which will go a long way toward improving food systems. The Vice President told the Summit that Tanzania continues to take various measures to strengthen food systems, with the adoption of the agenda 10/30 aims to attain a 10 per cent annual growth rate for the agriculture sector. He said Tanzania was working with EAC and SADC to improve the business environment for agriculture commodity exports. Apart from Hon Dr Mpango, other government officials at the Summit included Minister for Agriculture, Hon Hussein Bashe, Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji, Deputy PS Ministry of Investments Industry and Trade Mr Ally Gugu, TIC acting Executive Director, Mr John Mathew Mnali, among others.