Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) has marked 2016 as a year of significant advancement in agricultural development and agribusiness, as highlighted in their recently released 2016 Annual Report.
Promoting SAGCOT Brand and Strengthening Partnerships: SAGCOT has been proactive in promoting its initiatives at key regional and national platforms, such as the Nane Nane Forum and the African Green Revolution Forum held in Nairobi, Kenya. High-profile representatives, including Deputy CEO Ms. Jennifer Baarn and Potato Specialist Mr. Owekisha Kwigizile, spotlighted the investment potential in the SAGCOT region. A special focus was placed on the potato value chain, exploring the investment opportunities and challenges therein. The Centre also facilitated crucial meetings between its partners and Tanzania’s Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, Hon. Charles Tizeba.
Key Events and Positive Outcomes: 2016 saw the successful hosting of two major national flagship events: the Annual SAGCOT Partnership Forum and the Farmers Fair (Nane Nane). These events brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including government officials, global business leaders, and representatives from the private sector and farmer organizations. The aim was to share insights into SAGCOT’s role in promoting agribusiness and sustainable agriculture. The events garnered high-level visits and attracted over 1200 visitors at the SAGCOT Square exhibition, earning the Centre and its partners recognition for Professional Advice and a second runners-up position for Public-Private Partnership.
Core Objectives and Achievements: SAGCOT’s primary goal has been to invigorate agribusiness, aiding small-scale farmers, and enhancing agricultural productivity, food security, and environmental sustainability. The Centre diligently focused on monitoring and evaluating partner commitments, refining approaches to cluster planning, and facilitating partnerships.
Increased Income and Technology Adoption: The tangible impact of SAGCOT’s efforts was evident in the Ihemi Cluster, where farmers began earning more from their small commercial plots. For instance, round-potato farmers reported an average income of US$ 612 per hectare per annum. Moreover, there was a noteworthy adoption of improved agricultural technologies and practices among the farmers, with 550 out of 752 trained farmers applying these new techniques, guided by SAGCOT Centre Ltd.
Expansion of Partnerships: A remarkable expansion in SAGCOT’s partnership network was observed, with the portfolio growing to 102 paying partners, including 14 new additions in 2016. This growth signifies the widening impact and influence of SAGCOT in the agricultural sector.
A Pivotal Year for Agricultural Empowerment: The year 2016 stands out as a pivotal moment in SAGCOT’s journey, characterized by effective promotion of its vision, successful hosting of key events, substantial growth in partnerships, and significant strides in boosting agricultural productivity and adopting sustainable practices. These concerted efforts have played a vital role in empowering smallholder farmers and advancing a more sustainable, profitable agricultural sector in Tanzania.