Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT Centre Ltd) has released its 2017 Annual Report, revealing significant strides in agricultural development and economic growth in the region.
Rapid Growth in Partnerships and Investments: The report highlights a substantial increase in partnerships, growing from 20 in 2011 to 115 in 2017. This expansion has been coupled with an impressive injection of approximately USD 0.5 billion into the agricultural corridor. These investments have not only created 674 full-time jobs but have also directly impacted the lives of 96,278 farmers. A notable achievement is the dramatic increase in commodity trading volumes, especially in the seed potato sector, which saw a leap from 600MT to 2325MT sold to smallholder farmers from 2016 to 2017.
Institutional Expansion and Operational Excellence: From its humble beginnings with just 2 employees, SAGCOT Centre Ltd has evolved into a robust institution with 29 full-time staff and plans to expand further. The establishment of an office in Iringa for the Ihemi Cluster and the upcoming office in Mbeya for the Mbarali Cluster symbolize this growth. The Centre has also achieved operational excellence, evident from its improved annual assessment score from a “B” to an “A” by funders, qualifying it for direct funding from entities like the World Bank.
Strides in New Investments and Technology Adoption: The Centre has successfully increased new investments into the SAGCOT Region by 4.2% (from US$ 438m in 2016 to US$ 456m in 2017). Moreover, there has been a significant uptick in the adoption of improved technologies by smallholder farmers, with an increase of 15,793 in 2017 alone.
Strategic Partnerships and Cluster Initiatives: One of the key achievements of 2017 was the consolidation of strategic partnerships in the Ihemi Cluster and the initiation of the Mbarali Cluster. These efforts have opened new avenues for agriculture and economic opportunities in regions like Mbeya and Songwe.
Sector-Specific Success Stories: The report also sheds light on sector-specific successes:
Soya Strategic Partnership: A collaborative effort with the Eastern Africa Grain Council led to substantial contracts for soya bean purchases from farmers.
Tomato Strategic Partnership: Completion of 8 Tomato Collection Centres and commissioned studies on tomato value chains have streamlined the tomato sector.
Dairy Partnership: Training initiatives have resulted in improved animal husbandry practices and the construction of a new milk collection center.
Potato Partnership: A significant increase in potato productivity from 7 tonnes/ha in 2015 to 31 tonnes/ha in 2017, thanks to the AGRA-funded SSTP Potato Project.
These accomplishments of SAGCOT Centre Ltd underscore the potential of strategic partnerships and dedicated efforts in transforming the agricultural landscape of Tanzania. The Centre’s approach has not only bolstered economic growth but also improved the lives and livelihoods of thousands of farmers, setting a precedent for sustainable agricultural development in the region.