By Elizabeth Shumbusho
Tanzania is poised to vanquish poverty and cement its role as a primary food producer in Africa by 2027,” emphasizes Vianey Rweyendela, the Country Manager for AGRA in Tanzania.. With a passion that radiated through his speech, Rweyendela instilled hope and determination in the hearts of all those present at the AGRA Tanzania 2023-2027 Strategy launch on 12 July 2023, in Dodoma.
The robust plan is designed to position Tanzania as a self-sufficient entity in food production and distribution by the year 2027, with an extended vision to feed the African continent.
“Come 2027, there will be nothing like poverty in this country,” declared Rweyendela confidently. He firmly believed that the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, from government officials to development partners, from international organizations to farmers, would bring about the desired transformation in Tanzania’s agricultural landscape.
Throughout his address, Rweyendela emphasized the importance of unity and collective action. The AGRA Tanzania 2023-2027 Strategy was not just a plan on paper; it was a shared vision representing the aspirations and hard work of countless individuals working towards a common goal.
“He remarked it was comprehensive plan that resulted from a year-long consultative process. It was a blueprint for progress, addressing critical components like the seed system, inclusive market and trade, sustainable farming practices, policy and capability work, and the focus on youth and women’s nutrition, he said.
Rweyendela thanked retired Prime Minister Hon. Mizengo Pinda, the chair of the Presidential Food and Delivery Council, for his presence and support. His endorsement reaffirmed the significance of the AGRA Tanzania strategy and the government’s commitment to achieving its goals.
Unprecedented Hosting of AGRF 2023
Rweyendela, expressed his enthusiasm for Tanzania’s upcoming role as host of AGRF 2023. “We’ve won the strong battle to host AGRF 2023, and this is testament to the dynamism and potential of our nation,” Rweyendela affirmed. His statement speaks volumes about the national and international recognition of Tanzania’s efforts in agricultural advancement.
The unveiled strategy is a result of over a year of extensive planning and collaboration involving diverse stakeholders. Rweyendela emphasized this participatory approach, saying, “We started this journey together, preparing this plan that we are launching today.” His remarks underscore the collaborative efforts behind the strategy and its democratic roots, reflecting the voices of many actors within the agricultural sector.
Key Components of the AGRA Global Strategy
The strategy zeroes in on four primary areas: seed systems, inclusive markets and trade, sustainable farming, and policy and capability work.
Expanding on the seed system’s importance, Rweyendela stated, “It’s crucial to see how we increase seed deployment on the ground.” This highlights the imperative to improve and accelerate the distribution of high-quality seeds to farmers, which is a significant factor in increasing agricultural productivity.
When discussing the role of inclusive markets and trade, Rweyendela posed: “We need to produce more because we need to feed other nations.” This underscores the need to expand Tanzania’s agricultural market beyond national borders, allowing farmers to benefit from a larger, more lucrative market.
Youth, Women, and Nutrition
The strategy also intersects with a focus on youth, women, and nutrition, acknowledging their essential roles in sustainable agricultural development. Rweyendela expressed a comprehensive view, emphasizing the importance of including these demographic groups in the agricultural sector, and linking nutrition to agriculture, a key element in achieving overall health and well-being for Tanzania’s population.
Vision for 2027
Rweyendela concluded his remarks by projecting a bright future for Tanzania. He stated, “Come 2027, there will be nothing like poverty in this country. Tanzania will be feeding the rest of Africa and the region. I know this is possible.” His words encapsulate the bold and ambitious vision AGRA holds for Tanzania—a vision of prosperity, self-sufficiency, and regional leadership in food production.
The newly launched strategy reflects AGRA’s commitment to driving agricultural transformation in Tanzania. With the nation set to host AGRF 2023, the world will be watching closely as Tanzania strides towards these ambitious goals.
***Addational reporting Anthony Muchoki