Former President Kikwete kicks off tour of agriculture projects
Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete has embarked on a week-long field tour of agriculture projects that are supported by AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) and partners in the country.
During the tour, Dr Kikwete, who is also an AGRA board member, will visit agro-dealers, food processors, aggregation and storage facilities, seed companies, demonstration plots, farmers as well as key public and private sector leaders in Iringa and Mbeya in Southern Highlands, Katavi and Tabora in Western Region and Dodoma in Central Tanzania. All these initiatives are making a difference in improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Tanzania and accelerating industrialization drive and export trade.
“Agriculture is a critical pathway to economic prosperity and poverty reduction in Tanzania, supporting livelihoods of approximately 65% of the population, accounts for about 27% of our GDP and contributes 24% of total exports. I am taking this tour as a member of the board’s projects committee which oversees delivery and have keen interest in agricultural transformation for the benefit of smallholder farmers in Tanzania and across Africa,” the former president said.
Dr Kikwete added that AGRA is currently consulting with the government, donors, and partners on the strategic priorities in Tanzania for the next strategy period.
AGRA has been supporting Tanzania’s agriculture, since 2006. This has seen significant investments made across the ecosystem to the tune of US$8.7 million. Work has included developing crop varieties, training scientists and research infrastructure, strengthening extension services, providing market, and financing linkages, supporting agro-dealers and the government’s policy reforms.
Dr Kikwete’s tour will culminate in the launch of a book documenting Tanzania’s implementation of the consortia model integrating government, partners, and the private sector to provide funding, strategic support, access to market and financing and linkages to inputs and output markets. President Kikwete is hosted by AGRA’s Tanzania Country Manager Vianey Rweyendela and is accompanied by stakeholders drawn from the private and public sector.
“I am delighted to accompany the former president and the deputy minister as we take stock of how these projects have sustained the gains made, two years after AGRA’s exit,” Mr Rweyendela said.
Since June 2018, Tanzania has been implementing a 10-year Agricultural Sector Development Programme Two (ASDP II). AGRA has been supporting Tanzania’s agriculture around the programme, which is being implemented in two five-year phases and aims to increase agricultural growth to six per cent by the year 2022/23.
AGRA, with other partners, supported the government in crafting Tanzania Agro-industries Development Flagship (TAIDF) in 2020, a multi-sectoral strategy augmenting and catalyzing past and existing efforts in agro-industrialization.