Dar es Salaam. The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has launched a 2-year initiative called ‘Sustainable and Inclusive Sunflower Market Development Project’ or ‘Alizeti Maendeleo in Lindi and Mtwara regions.
The initiative is the result of a partnership with the Agricultural Markets Development Trust (AMDT), which is a collaboration with the governments of Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland, and local government authorities.
A statement issued by the Aga Khan Hospital Public Relations officer Tahira Nizari indicated that at least 4,000 individuals—including 1,480 women and 2,000 youth, 40 farmer organisations will be positively impacted.
The project targets the economic inclusion of women and youth through targeted approaches to ensure accessible training and opportunity.
“Demand for sunflower production in local areas is growing throughout the country and marks an opportunity for farming diversification, increased income for smallholder farmers, and the expansion of the sunflower market in Southern Tanzania.
“However, smallholder farmers remain disconnected from this opportunity due to lack of access to seed supply, reliable information, equipment, and weak market linkages,” reads part of the statement.
But this landscape is shifting, as a farmer in Ruangwa District, Mr Mohamed Lipeni, explained, “I have diversified my farming and have been able to reach new markets with the support from the AKF under the AMDT programme. I am excited to see the continued gains.”
AMDT’s strategic objective centres on the sunflower value chain to increase livelihoods of smallholder farmers by 50 per cent by the end of 2020.