Joseph Migunda, the Director of TAPBDS says that collaboration with AGRA provides a blueprint for how symbiotic relationships can reshape and rejuvenate the entire agriculture sector.
Marrying Tradition with Progress
The core philosophy of Joseph Migunda’s approach at TAPBDS hinges on the amalgamation of traditional practices and modern techniques. He says, “In partnership with AGRA, we are dedicating our efforts to offering business development services, BDS, to farmers, farmers’ collectives, and commercial entities within the agricultural value chain.”
The tangible evidence of this partnership’s effectiveness was witnessed when AGRA’s board members toured the Tanzanian agricultural hotspots. They met various stakeholders, from major input distributors like Harbour agro-dealers to Village Business Advisors (VBAs) who are the grassroots experts, and large-scale off-takers involved in the intricate process of agricultural product transformation.
Building Bonds Beyond Business
One of TAPBDS’s crowning achievements, under Migunda’s leadership, is its emphasis on forging profound relationships. Migunda illuminates this, stating, “With the invaluable resources, both in expertise and finances, from partners such as AGRA, we’ve created an intricate interplay within the agricultural sector. This network encompasses the high-stake buyers, meticulous processors, and reaches down to the soul of our operations – the individual farmer.”
But this isn’t a mere business nexus; it’s a community. The bridges built ensure that farmers, especially those who are small-scale, women, and the youth, not only adopt the latest in agricultural technology to boost production but also have established markets waiting eagerly for their produce.
Charting Uncharted Waters
In every transformative journey, challenges are not roadblocks but milestones, indicating progress. Migunda acknowledges them, particularly in areas like information dissemination. However, he views these not as setbacks but as arenas ripe for innovation. Partnerships, especially with AGRA’s AHIDI program, have bolstered efforts towards digitization, pioneering seed systems, and relentless market and capital exploration for budding businesses.
Moreover, Migunda champions the cause of engaging the youth and women in this agricultural metamorphosis. Modern agricultural facets like threshing technologies, post-harvesting processes, and digital integrations, according to him, are avenues where their enthusiasm and energy can be most beneficial. “These areas offer assured prospects, and that’s the magnet for both women and our younger generation,” he emphasizes.
Walking Hand-in-Hand with Governance
For all the modernity that TAPBDS infuses into Tanzanian agriculture, Migunda is acutely aware of the importance of aligning with the country’s policy frameworks. The Agricultural Sector Development Program Phase Two (ASDP II) is not just a guideline but the North Star for all TAPBDS initiatives. He elaborates, “Every facet of our operations, every program design blueprint, is vetted to ensure it aligns harmoniously with the government’s directives.”
This balanced approach is showcased in success stories like that of Mama Seki. Requiring substantial capital for her entrepreneurial agricultural venture, Mama Seki found guidance in TAPBDS. They navigated her through the labyrinth of loan applications, resulting in her standing on the brink of securing a significant financial boost. With such support, Mama Seki is not just an individual success but an emblem of what thousands of Tanzanian farmers can achieve with the right assistance.
With so much already achieved, one might think the journey is nearing its end. But for Migunda, it’s only just begun. “There are realms still untouched. Technological integrations, seed system revolutions, extensions of services, and market dynamics – we’ve only scratched the surface,” he muses.
The canvas of Tanzanian agriculture is vast, and there’s still much to paint. Migunda fervently believes in the inclusion of more stakeholders, both old and new, in this journey. “The more minds, hands, and hearts we can bring on board, the brighter the future looks for our small-scale farmers,” he asserts.
His concluding thoughts are a clarion call, not just to stakeholders but to every Tanzanian. “We’re in this together. Every stride we take, every seed we sow, and every bond we build is a step towards a self-reliant, prosperous Tanzania. Let’s continue this journey, hand in hand, heart in heart.”