Tanzania-Norway Partnership Strengthens Agricultural Innovation in SAGCOT Corridor

Q1 2024 edition of the SAGCOT Newsletter.

The SAGCOT Centre, alongside the regional governments of Iringa and Morogoro, welcomed Her Excellency Ms Tone Tinnes, Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, on a visit to the heart of Tanzania’s agricultural powerhouse—the Ihemi and Kilombero Clusters. This trip, held March 13-15, 2024, showcased the success stories born from the longstanding Tanzania-Norway partnership. 

Ambassador Tinnes’ visit marked a significant milestone – 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations. She highlighted the evolution of cooperation from early missionary efforts to a comprehensive development approach focused on holistic growth. 

Ambassador Tinnes’ journey wasn’t just symbolic. She delved into innovative projects driven by Tanzanian ingenuity and supported by SAGCOT, which has Norwegian backing. These projects exemplify sustainable agriculture and food security advancements within the SAGCOT initiative. 

The Ambassador acknowledged the significant transformation in Tanzanian agriculture, particularly the shift towards legal compliance and business ventures among local entrepreneurs.  She emphasised the importance of private partnerships, as evidenced by the recent memorandum of understanding focused on leveraging Norwegian expertise. 

Ambassador Tinnes expressed optimism about the future, envisioning increased trade between Tanzania and Norway.  She emphasised continued dialogue to explore this potential.  Supporting small-scale farmers and leveraging local knowledge were highlighted as critical for future collaboration. 

Acting Iringa Regional Administrative Secretary, Mr. Elias Luvanda, in a briefing to the Ambassador, emphasised the collective achievements and persistent challenges in agricultural development within the Ihemi cluster, which includes the Iringa and Njombe regions. 

“Through the unwavering dedication of our public and private sector partners, we have been able to turn the SAGCOT initiative into a catalyst for agricultural transformation in the Iringa region,” Mr Luvanda remarked. “Our collaborative efforts have ushered in an era of increased productivity, enhanced market accessibility, and significant improvements in agricultural practices.” 

Morogoro Regional Commissioner, Hon. Adam Kighoma Malima, noted: “SAGCOT was established during my tenure as Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security, and Cooperatives. Now, serving as the Regional Commissioner in Morogoro, it is gratifying to observe that SAGCOT’s principles continue to be embraced. The initiative has adapted to changes and overcome the inherent challenges of adopting new systems. Reflecting on the past decade reveals clear lessons learned and obstacles that have been overcome..” 

Maria Ijumba, SAGCOT’s Head of Cluster & Partnerships Development, conveyed genuine gratitude to the ambassador for her visit and for actively engaging with agricultural entrepreneurs across various levels, from farmers to processors. These individuals within SAGCOT clusters are improving their livelihoods and nurturing a collaborative ecosystem where knowledge-sharing catalyses positive transformation throughout Tanzania’s agricultural landscape. 

Building a Stronger Future Together: During the visit to Iringa, an iftar dinner was held to foster a sense of community and shared vision. Various SAGCOT partners shared their agricultural development stories. Throughout the journey, the envoy posed questions to SAGCOT partners to better understand them and enhance the partnership and cooperation between Tanzania and Norway. 

 The visit spotlighted several agricultural ventures: 

Green Valley Agro: This commercial horticultural seed producer integrates local training with climate-smart technologies, paving the way for a more resilient future. 

GBRI Business Solutions: Led by visionary women, this initiative aggregates avocados for the global market, showcasing female leadership in agribusiness. 

Vonkavy AGRO Company: This poultry business, owned by Mr. Eugene Paul Kavishe, boasts a production capacity of 35,000 eggs daily, demonstrating agribusiness scalability. 

VIWAVI COCOBA Group: This youth group sells onions along the Tanzania—Zambia Roadside, making it one of the largest horticultural markets in Tanzania and Africa. The collective’s transformation from small-scale sales to commercial farming underscores the power of youth and collaboration in driving innovation. 

Wosia wa Baba: This initiative exemplifies diversification and sustainability through conservation farming and beekeeping. 

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