Transforming Agriculture in Tanzania: SAGCOT’s Leap Forward (2014-2015)

The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), established in 2010, embarked on an ambitious journey to revolutionize agriculture in Tanzania. It aimed to integrate smallholder farmers into the agricultural value chain, foster agricultural commercialization and modernization, and encourage sustainable growth.

Expansion and Growth

The years 2014 and 2015 marked a period of significant growth for SAGCOT. The increase in partners and a surge in private sector commitments were notable. The initiative secured US$263.52 million in pledges and an additional US$1.3 million through grant agreements. This period also saw seven new funders signing MoUs, expanding the initiative’s reach.

Value Chain Focus

Central to SAGCOT’s strategy was the support of thirteen interconnected value chains, potentially engaging over 100,000 farmer households. Key value chains identified in 2015 included tomatoes, potatoes, soya, and dairy. The focus was on ensuring coordinated production, processing, transportation, and marketing activities.

Impact on Smallholder Farmers

Approximately 25,000 smallholder farmers directly benefited from SAGCOT’s initiatives. These value chain projects were instrumental in creating jobs, alleviating poverty, and transforming communities. The success of SAGCOT’s model, replicated in 18 other countries, testified to its effectiveness.

Collaborative Partnerships

The mobilization of nearly 100 active partners across 13 value chain projects underscored the collaborative nature of SAGCOT. The initiative brought together government, private sector, development partners, civil society, farmer organizations, and smallholders. Mr. Salum Shamte, the Chairman, lauded these partnerships for their contributions to Tanzania’s agricultural landscape.

Sustainable and Scalable Approaches

The period witnessed growth in scalable value-chain partnerships across various sectors. SAGCOT placed a heightened focus on green growth strategies, including initiatives for better water management and funding for climate-smart agriculture.

Second Annual Partnership Forum

The second Annual Partnership Forum in December 2015, themed “Assessing and Growing our Impact,” was a landmark event. Attended by over 235 participants, the forum provided an opportunity to showcase ongoing work and introduce new agribusiness opportunities.

The Road Ahead

Looking towards 2016 and beyond, the Centre was poised to leverage its additional pledges and partnerships. The focus remained on investing in opportunities within the Corridor, aligning with SAGCOT’s ambitious objectives for 2030.

Reflecting on the progress between 2014 and 2015, SAGCOT stood as a testament to the potential of public-private partnerships in agricultural development. The initiative played a critical role in transforming Tanzania’s agricultural sector and significantly impacted the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. The anticipation of continued growth and success in the forthcoming years was palpable, setting a precedent for agricultural development initiatives globally.