Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Hussein M Bashe, has reignited the conversation surrounding the empowerment of female farmers, underscoring their pivotal role in Tanzania’s agricultural sector. Speaking at a side event hosted by Sneakers and Heels Women in Agriculture, a platform inspired by AGRF Summit, the Minister advocated for renewed commitment and strategic investments to foster gender equality and sustainability within the sector.
Tanzania boasts a rich agricultural heritage, with a substantial proportion of its population reliant on farming as a primary source of income. In a remarkable statistic, women constitute a staggering 65% of the nation’s farming workforce, serving as the backbone of a sector critical to the Tanzanian economy. Yet, despite their significant contributions, female farmers face a plethora of challenges that threaten to stifle their potential and undermine the sector’s overall productivity.
During the event, Minister Bashe spotlighted one of the most significant obstacles facing women in agriculture – land ownership. Citing data from an ongoing farmer registration project, he revealed that a substantial majority of female farmers are disenfranchised when it comes to land ownership, a cornerstone of agricultural prosperity.
In a bid to turn the tide, the Tanzanian government has embarked on the ambitious BBT project. This initiative seeks not only to document the pressing issues facing female farmers but also to develop sustainable solutions that address the trio of critical challenges: securing sufficient capital, unlocking access to viable markets, and harnessing modern technology.
He said that the government is inviting collaboration with developmental partners, forging alliances that promise to bring fresh perspectives and resources to revolutionise the nation’s agricultural landscape.
Yet, the government’s vision extends beyond the confines of the BBT project. In a recent development, a pioneering scheme was unveiled, targeting small-scale farmers with a promise of comprehensive support. Minister Bashe shared insights into this initiative, which envisages the drilling of wells equipped with solar-powered electricity, a move that integrates sustainability with progress, aligning with the broader goals of the nation’s Agenda 10/30.
Perhaps the crowning moment of Minister Bashe’s address was his unveiling of a statistic that holds transformative potential for Tanzania’s economy. He noted that a $1 investment in a female farmer can yield a threefold return, offering a clear pathway for economic growth that is both inclusive and empowering.
This data serves as a rallying cry, urging stakeholders to rethink their investment strategies to foster a nurturing environment where female farmers can flourish. The Minister urged the development of investment programs with a sharp focus on supporting women, which promises to unlock unprecedented economic gains, fueling shared prosperity.
Minister Bashe underscored the government’s readiness to work hand in hand with various stakeholders in carving a future that is both bright and inclusive. He voiced an unwavering resolve to place women at the forefront of these efforts, fostering collaborations poised to usher in a new era of agricultural prosperity in Tanzania.
“Let us continue to identify women involved in the agricultural sector. The government is committed to providing support in all possible ways,” he said.