Southern Highlands, Tanzania – The modern world finds itself at a critical juncture, with the emphasis on sustainable economic growth stronger than ever before. Within this complex web, the concept of business ecosystems emerges as a lighthouse guiding the path to prosperity. Dr. Agnes Kalibata, the dynamic AGRA President, spotlighted this notion during her explorative visit to Tanzania’s Southern Highlands on September 3rd, as part of AGRF summit activities.
Her tour, with AGRA board members was not merely an observational exercise; it was an illuminating journey into the heart of agriculture’s transformational power when integrated with these ecosystems.
Upon setting foot in the Southern Highlands, Dr. Kalibata was met with the vibrant tapestry of Tanzania’s agrarian landscape. She passionately conveyed the intertwined narrative of business ecosystems and agriculture. For her, this bond wasn’t about survival; it was about thriving. She proposed that business ecosystems could serve as a catalyst, reshaping the agricultural framework and providing a robust impetus to local economies.
Central to her discourse was the idea of catalytic support. According to her, such support had the potential to ignite growth from the grassroots, propelling local communities into a brighter future. “Often, all that is required is catalytic support,” she remarked, underlining its essence in unlocking transformational growth.
Showcasing Real-World Success: Super Seki Investment
The highlight of her tour was undoubtedly her stopover at the Super Seki Investment in Iringa. This enterprise stands as a shining beacon for the transformative power of business ecosystems, especially in the agricultural sector. With a formidable track record of supporting an awe-inspiring 25,000 farmers, Super Seki Investment’s role in the region’s economic dynamics is undeniable.
Led by the enterprising Ms. Ritha Sekiovelle, or ‘Super Seki’, this maize procurement and processing behemoth has set ambitious targets, to be able to buy maize from 50,0000 farmers per season after finishing up a new plant under construction.
Super Seki’s acknowledged the invaluable role of AGRA in her journey. A facilitated trade expedition to Kenya was the turning point for Super Seki, opening the gateway to international opportunities and firmly cementing its esteemed position within the expansive AMCOS network.
A Collaborative Future: Insights from Professor Jean Muhinda
The scope of Dr. Kalibata’s tour was further broadened by the insights from Professor Jean Muhinda, AGRA’s Regional Head for East Africa. Prof. Muhinda shed light on the remarkable success of the PiATA-TIJA initiative. The project stands as a testament to AGRA’s commitment, having skillfully woven a network of producers, off-takers, and end markets across neighboring countries.
The project’s sustainability was another key theme in Prof. Muhinda’s discourse. He noted with palpable pride, “The ecosystem we’ve fostered has not only flourished during our active tenure but has shown a promising trajectory even after our direct support receded.”
Iringa: The Blooming Breadbasket of Tanzania
Revocatus Rwegosha, Iringa’s Regional Agriculture Advisor, took the opportunity to spotlight the region’s vast agricultural potential. Historically recognized as Tanzania’s breadbasket, Iringa has long been a hub of agricultural promise. However, Rwegosha was quick to point out that the region’s potential was historically underutilized in terms of exports. Through the cyclical support from AGRA and associated partners, Iringa is now poised to truly live up to its potential, acting as an exemplar for the rest of the nation.
Regions like the Southern Highlands can envision a sustainable, prosperous future through the harmonious amalgamation of agriculture and business ecosystems. In the profound words of Dr. Kalibata, with the right catalytic support, transformational growth is not just a possibility – it’s a guarantee.