Tanzania-Norway Agri Collaboration Flourishes with Norwegian Ambassador’s Visit to SAGCOT

Kilimokwanza.org Reporter

“Agriculture means business! It was fascinating to see how SAGCOT and its partners are spearheading responsible, private-sector-led agricultural innovation, contributing to Tanzania’s food security and economic growth,” stated Her Excellency Madam Tone Tinnes, the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania. She commended Norway’s sustained support for SAGCOT since its inception in 2012.

Her tour included stops at the regional government offices in Iringa and Morogoro, showcasing how SAGCOT propels the government’s agenda in agriculture to new heights. She also visited exemplary companies like Green Valley Agro, EatFresh (GBRI), and Vonkavy Agro Company. Additionally, she interacted with the VIWAVI COCOBA and Wosia wa Baba farmer groups in Kilosa, highlighting their efforts in uniting smallholder farmers to expand and attract necessary resources.

In a stride towards agricultural advancement, SAGCOT Centre  had the honor of hosting the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, for a three-day visit across the pivotal regions of Iringaand Morogoro. This visit, spanning from March 13th to 15th, 2024, underscored the flourishing partnership between Tanzania and Norway in the realm of agricultural development.

Ambassador Tinnes’s tour across the SAGCOT region—encompassing the Ihemi and Kilombero Clusters—offered a firsthand glimpse into the vibrant progress of productive agriculture within Tanzania. The visit also marked a momentous phase in SAGCOT’s evolution into the Agriculture Corridors of Tanzania (ACGOT), an initiative aimed at broadening its impact to encapsulate all agricultural corridors throughout the nation.

SAGCOT’s role as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) dedicated to catalyzing responsible private sector-led agriculture development has been instrumental in facilitating partnerships among private companies, farmers’ organizations, government entities, NGOs, civil society, and development partners. These collaborations are geared towards delivering inclusive, sustainable, and commercially viable agricultural value chains within the SAGCOT corridor.

Ihemi cluster, which spans the Iringa and Mbeya regions is SAGCOT’s inaugural agribusiness-focused cluster—. This cluster has served as a rich source of learning and knowledge on agribusiness development, influencing policies at the national level and inspiring replication across other geographical areas.

Highlighting the tangible outcomes of this partnership, the visit spotlighted two pioneering organizations in Iringa: Green Valley Agro, a leader in producing and exporting vegetable hybrid seeds to Europe, and EatFresh (GBRI), which specializes in growing, packing, and marketing high-value vegetables and fruits for export to European markets and India. These organizations exemplify the potential and success of private-sector-led agricultural development in Tanzania.

The Visited companies: 

Green Valley Agro: A linchpin in the production of vegetable hybrid seeds, Green Valley Agro’s endeavors stretch beyond Tanzanian soils, reaching European markets with their high-quality produce. From strawberries to tomatoes, their work encapsulates the essence of agricultural excellence and export proficiency.

EatFresh (GBRI): Specializing in the cultivation, packaging, and marketing of high-value vegetables and fruits, EatFresh is at the forefront of Tanzania’s agribusiness wave. With a keen focus on avocados and bananas, their products grace markets in Europe and India, embodying the potential of Tanzanian agriculture on the global stage.

Vonkavy Agro Company: This Tanzanian agricultural innovation company, with over ten years in the poultry farming field, specializes in chicken, eggs, and poultry feed production to serve the Tanzanian market. It is a leading producer with daily production capacities of over 1,000 trays and 20 tons of poultry feeds; strategically locating its Layer farm on 200 acres at Dakawa area, a 5-acre nursery farm at Mgolole area, a state-of-the-art feed mill, and head office at Madaraka Road 36/J in Morogoro Municipal.

VIWAVI COCOBA is a dynamic group of 30 young entrepreneurs, comprising 11 women and 19 men aged between 18 and 35 years. Originally engaging in the sale of onions and other produce roadside, they have transitioned into farming as a sustainable business venture while continuing their roadside sales.

The Wosia wa Baba Group: an innovative collective based in Udzungwa, focused on intertwining conservation agriculture with modern beekeeping practices. This approach is rooted in their commitment to environmental sustainability, aiming to create a harmonious balance between productive farming and the preservation of natural resources.