Tanzania is committed to become a middle income generating country by 2025. The commendable development objective was eloquently expressed by the Tanzania Minister of Agriculture and Food Security and Cooperative, Hon. Eng. C.K. Chiza during the above mentioned International Agriculture Conference which was organised by the Indo Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industries – IACCI in Mumbai, State of Maharashtra from 29 to 30 August, 2012.

In his remarks Hon. Chiza informed the Participants that the agriculture sector of Tanzania which generates 24.1 per cent of the Country’s GDP, 24 per Cent of export and it employs 7 to 10.5 percent of the population is a key driver of the social and economic development of the country and it has great potential to promote many of the poor out of poverty by enhancing its contribution to the Government development goals projected to enable the country to attain indispensable features and the status of the middle income generating by the year 2025.

He said, due to its inclusiveness, the unilateral growth of agriculture sector has substantial effect to per capita income growth and poverty reduction; hence, improving the growth of this sector is paramount in accomplishing the country’s development goals.

He further stated that, “compared to the achievements of other sectors, agriculture has constantly registered lower growth rates and so its GDP share dropped from 29 per cent in 2000 to 24.1 per cent in 2010”. He explained that the sector under-performance which is greatly attributed to a number of factors ranging from climate change, low application of the appropriate technology,  nadequate market and value addition has hampered the Government’s effort in reducing the rural poverty level.

In this respect, Hon. Minister stated that, the Government through his Ministry has been sincerely embarking in the transformation of agriculture by addressing the key challenges as stipulated in its 2003 Agricultural Sector Development Strategy -ASDS followed-by the introduction of the Agriculture Sector development Programme – ASDP in the same year meant to extensively speedup the agricultural development and rural development transformation. Further accounting on the ASDP, Hon. Minister Chiza maintained that, the Programme has been designed to increase agricultural productivity, profitability and farmers income by inspiring and encouraging private sector investment in agriculture as well as by comparatively attending the crosscutting issues.

He said, in acknowledgment to ASDP programme, the Government of Tanzania in collaboration with the Private Sector in 2008 declared green revolution programme, popularly known as “Kilimo Kwanza” [Agriculture First] which intends to modernise and commercialise the sector which is the backbone of the country economy. Among other things, the programme entails obligatory responsibilities over all other development sectors to support agricultural development.

Further describing the entrenched features of Kilimo Kwanza initiatives, the Minister said that in the context of the New Partnership for Africa's Development - NEPAD’s Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme - CAADP, the Tanzania [Kilimo Kwanza] initiatives, led to the signing of the agreement known as “the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Compact - CAADPC” in 2010 which engages all key development players such as Government, Private Sector, non State actors, Farmers and Development Partners in the implementation of strategies.

He said, the CAADPC was the result of jointly earlier conducted study by the New Partnership for Africa's Development - NEPAD, Africa Union - AU, and Food and Agriculture Organisation - FAO in association with the country’s CAADP Task Force, which identified gaps in production, and irregularities in the framework. The CAADPC Agreement also obliges the Government to set aside for agriculture sector not less than ten per cent of its budgetary resources in order to register annual growth rate of six percent instead of the present annual growth of four to five per cent.

He further stated that, in line with the CAADPC course of action the Tanzania Agriculture, Food Security and Investment Plan [TAFSIP] was developed in November 2011 to capture onboard all the agriculture stakeholders in realizing a common programme of comprehensively transforming the sector to achieve food and nutrition security, to create wealth as well as to reduce poverty.  He continued to say that Tanzania has taken deliberate efforts to intensity the involvement of private sector in the implementation of Kilimo kwanza and TAFSIP which need massive investments that cannot be sustained by the lone Government.

Hence, Hon. Minister clearly expressed the Government affirmative appreciation over Private Sector as well its financial capability to boost the implementation of Kilimo Kwanza. Hon. Chiza encouraged the Indian firms to trail the success course of their fellow Indian brothers and other international companies who are currently benefiting from their successful investments in Tanzania, particularly in agricultural sector, by injecting their resources in the following seven major investment programmes as branded by TAFSIP, either as a standalone mode or under Public Private Partnership [PPP] arrangement:

  • Irrigation Development, Sustainable Water Resources and Land Use Management
  • Production and Rural Commercialisation
  • Rural Infrastructure, Market Access and Trade
  • Private Sector Development
  • Food and Nutrition Security
  • Disaster Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
  • Policy Reform and Institutional Support

He said, Tanzania has 44 million hectares of agriculture suitable land but only 10.1 million hectares have been developed so far and is only using one per cent of theoretically 29.4 million hectares of irrigable land.

Hon. Eng Chiza gave an example of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania – SAGCOT which is a response to a call for investment outlined in Tanzania’s Kilimo Kwanza agricultural policy [TAFSIP] as the thriving living evidence of the Public-Private Partnership initiatives commenced to exploit the country huge agricultural potential through the agricultural development corridors approach. The development of the SAGCOT Corridor is supported by the Government of Tanzania in partnership with the Private Sector and business [local and international] groups and Development Partners.

Underscoring further the SAGCOT scheme, Hon. Chiza avowed the Corridor as the bread basket of Tanzania which provides 2/3 of food supply produced in the country and it’s the most ideal agriculture development area for small, medium and large scale farming as it is well linked with all indispensable infrastructures ranging from suitable land, power, roads, railways, water etc. The success experience of the SAGCOT will be transmitted and replicated to other areas of the country, he confirmed.

The Tanzania Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives further spoke about the encouraging values of the SAGCOT by saying that the system addresses the entire value of agricultural chain and creates commendable development inspiration by drawing together the country regime, Business Community, Development Partners and the People [Farming Community] to join their resources in order to mutually achieve common goal. It can also create millions of new jobs by facilitating small farmers to commercialize their agricultural activities and ultimately gain access to international markets.

He said the SAGCOT [227,000 Square Kilometres] Green Corridor stretches from Dar es Salaam, Coast, Morogoro, Iringa, Ruvuma, Mbeya, Rukwa and some parts of Dodoma and Singida Regions.

Hon. Minister informed the attending audience that in continuation of the implementation of the programme, the Government of Tanzania has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] with the JAIN Irrigation Ltd of India which will provide technical support to the SAGCOT Regions, especially those in the central Plateau, through the development of the irrigation system for cotton, banana and grapes farming.

He established that, the SAGCOT set out to promote profitable Agricultural Clusters Family and related business that will grab the concentration of interconnected Companies such as specialised suppliers, service providers, associated distributors, commercial farmers, Government and other social Institutions.

Nevertheless, He said that, there are several challenges which will need to be properly addressed in order to achieve the optimal targets of the scheme. He cited some of those challenges as coordination and linkage of various initiatives, input availability such as seed, fertiliser research and implementation of research results, property right management, infrastructure, irrigation and distribution system, and drainage and sewerage facilities, management of coexistence of modern farms, technology etc.

Hence, Hon. Minister appealed for the Indian Private Sector and Business community to support the Government [Tanzania] effort in addressing those outstanding challenges by according its talented cooperation and assistance [investment] in Tanzania infrastructure development especially railways, roads, irrigation storage and value addition facilities, power and telecommunication; logistic to support production and marketing such as production/supply of seeds, fertiliser, agrochemical, packaging material etc.

Together with a number of favourable investment incentives offered by the Government of Tanzania which he mentioned, Hon. Minister also depicted available agriculture investment opportunities especially in a crop-sub sector such as establishment of large scale [commercial] farming, processing and production of sugar, rice, maize, wheat, coffee, cotton, tobacco, sisal, fruits and vegetable, spices, oilseeds, tea, pyrethrum, cashew nuts, floriculture etc.

The implementation of the Tanzania Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plan - TAFSIP requires about USD 5.3 billion for the next five years to cover the entire country, while SAGCOT alone is welcoming the investment of about USD 3.4 billion, he concluded The Conference was also blessed by the remarks of the AU Commissioner andthe IACCI Chairperson. It was also attended by other  officials from the Ministryof Agriculture and from the Tanzania High Commission in New Delhi India.