The Tanzanian government and the private sector have announced their commitment to increase the share of world trade in agriculture. Professor Siza Tumbo, deputy permanent secretary at the agriculture ministry, said the move is aimed at benefiting small farmers who make up the majority population.
Speaking at the opening of the country launch of the 2021 Agribusiness Deal for Tanzania, an event recently organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Prof Siza said that increased exports of agricultural products would lead to high productivity, leading to agriculture-induced wealth creation among small farmers.
“It is essential for Tanzania to have better access to the world market for agricultural products in order to push small farmers to significantly increase their production and to be able to compete by lowering prices while maintaining comfortable profit margins”, he noted.
Strong public-private partnerships
Prof Tumbo cited soybean exports in 2019/21 of 3,500 tonnes, but in 2020/21 they increased to 60,000 tonnes after concerted public-private partnership efforts. Such a step indicates that other crops can find markets around the world and join traditional agricultural exports like tea, coffee, tobacco, cotton and cashews.
He further called for strong public-private partnerships (PPP) in his country and on the other hand with investors from all over the world to ensure that Tanzanian agriculture produces reliable markets around the world.
“Our strategy is to become more competitive by increasing productivity,” he noted.
The Agribusiness Deal Room is a networking platform at the Annual Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), which will take place in Nairobi from September 6, 2021. AGRA Tanzania Country Director Mr. Vianey Rweyendela, explained that the trading room allows the public and private sectors as well as investors to join together to transform small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the agribusiness into larger companies that can support a large number of small farmers.
This makes the whole value chain more profitable. “We aim to reach more small farmers. Partnerships that promote inclusive agribusiness growth are essential, ”he said.
Private Sector Representative Mr. Geoffrey Kirenga, also Managing Director of the Southern Tanzania Agricultural Corridor (SAGCOT), noted that the private sector in Tanzania works closely with smallholder farmers and that public sector partnerships and the private sector are essential for growth.