Tanzania ‘needs improved climate for agribusiness’


  • A paper by a policy implementation consultant notes that hastening implementation should be done through addressing existing systemic governance hurdles

Dar es Salaam. As Tanzanians celebrate the important contribution of farmers to the national economy through the Nane Nane Day today, experts say the country needs to backup the government’s agriculture transformation efforts with a Tanzania Agro-industries Development Flagship (TAIDF).

TAIDF is a government framework for mobilising and coordinating investments toward agro-industrialisation, which was developed by the secretariat of the Agriculture Sector Development Programme (ASDP II) with technical and financial support provided by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra).

A paper by policy implementation consultant Barney Laseko notes that hastening implementation should be done through the urgent improvement of existing systemic governance hurdles in the Agricultural Business Enabling Environment (ABEE).

“For TAIDF to succeed, the government, private sector, and their development partners must come together to accelerate the creation of the requisite Agricultural Business Enabling Environment in Tanzania,” notes the paper first published at kilimokwanza.org

The implementation of TAIDF program should include immediate policy intervention, for example, the provision of highly subsidised sunflower hybrid seeds to all farmers in the country for three consecutive years, which would have a proven revolutionary impact.

The recommendations are made in his article titled Improving the Agriculture Business Enabling Environment: A Pre-requisite for Agro-Industrialisation in Tanzania. In 2020, the government developed TAIDF with the goal of enhancing and accelerating structural economic transformation through improved sustainable agro-industry-based economic growth that is inclusive of the poor, women and youth.

The paper calls for the use of the advantage presented by information and communication technology (ICT), and urges for the existing hurdles to be addressed through a ‘Big Results Now!’ approach. The key eighteen ABEE factors include governance of land, water, seed, fertiliser, mechanisation, finance, transportation, markets, gender (with a special interest in youth), logistics, crop aggregation, storage, value addition, tax regime, farmer organisations, dialogue, ICT and the environment.

The paper notes that Tanzania, like other countries referred to as “third world” or “developing” countries, was part and parcel of the well-pronounced first industrial revolution that was indeed not built overnight.

After World War II, Tanzania and many other countries that were once the sources of raw materials lagged behind in adapting technological innovation leading to unsustainable inefficiencies in the global industrial system.

Other parts of the world, in particular Eastern Europe and Asia, embraced technological innovations through the implementation of appropriate policies which created a conducive business enabling environment for agro-industrialisation. Hence, other countries have shown that it can be done.

The paper cites the findings presented by National Sample Census of Agriculture (NSCA) 2019-2020 results which revealed that in Tanzania, 65.3 percent of households’ livelihood depends directly on agriculture for their well being.

The paper notes that it is ironic to swallow the fact that 57.6 percent of the cultivated area in Tanzania is still using human farm power through the hand hoe.

According to the paper a quick interpretation of these facts leads to a conclusion that Tanzanians are solemnly an “agrarian society: one of the oldest forms of an economy still in existence”.