There are great initiatives being undertaken by the government and players in the private sector aimed at boosting Tanzania’s fortunes in agriculture as projections continue to point towards growth in the sector.
Recently, Mwananchi Communications Limited joined hands with the government through the Ministry of Agriculture to launch Farm Clinic, a project that aims to provide practical solutions to the multiple challenges farmers face, but also looks to highlight big opportunity areas within the agriculture ecosystem.
Undertaken in partnership with telecom company Vodacom Tanzania, Farm Clinic is an example of the possibilities that can be made a reality if only players in the private sector focused within their area of expertise decide to embark on similar initiatives that will make a difference in agriculture by giving farmers monetary and technical support.
As economic development proceeds, the share of agriculture in GDP and total employment in Tanzania keeps rising, with more farmers advancing from informal practices to more modern and rewarding methods. What this means is that Tanzania stands a chance to truly become the bread basket of Africa amid rising concerns of a continental food crisis.
As well elaborated by President Samia Suluhu Hassan during the recent East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit in Arusha, Tanzania is strategically positioned to not only feed itself, but also the rest of the region. She highlighted the need for improved irrigation practices, access to affordable fertilisers, but also farmers’ access to finances.
What the president’s remarks mean is that the government is fully aware of the potential of agriculture to boost economic growth, but also elevate the livelihoods of farmers across the country.
As the world grapples with global challenges which are purely man-made such as climate change and conflicts in different parts of the world that have disrupted the supply chain of food, Africa and in particular, Tanzania needs to come to the forefront and take matters in its own hands by investing more in becoming self-sufficient across a number of areas, especially food.
With vast arable land that can be put to good use, it is evident that through partnerships between the government and national/international financial institutions a lot of doors can be opened that will provide farmers access to important resources and tools that will truly transform the agriculture sector.
Food crops are now giving cash crops a run for their money in terms of export value, it is clear that the space for profiting from agriculture is expanding. It will require deliberate efforts and full commitment by the government and players in the agriculture sector to tap into the full potential of what the industry has to offer.
Planning and foresight
It takes planning and foresight, and as the theme for this year’s Farmers Day popularly known as Nanenane Day states: Ajenda 10/30 – farming is business, it means that more business-oriented strategies should be put in place in order to make the most out of this sector. Having proper agricultural planning means that the government will be able to allocate sufficient funds to the sector during every budget.