By Linda Larbie |
Local agriculture sector in Tanzania has been growing at an average of 3.4 per cent creating 1,040 jobs directly with an investment of 29 million US dollars by the private sector, Grow Africa’s latest annual report has said.
The report said 16 letters of intent were signed by private companies and agribusiness bodies with 174,000 smallholder farmers involved so far.
Agriculture is one of the six National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) that have been prioritised under the Big Result Now initiative adopted to speed up its growth.
Three priority crops have been identified initially, namely, sugarcane, maize and rice, while the second wave of priority crops will include horticulture and oilseeds, the report stated.
The report said the Grow Africa initiative under Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) planned to attract investment estimated at 34 million US dollars since 2012.
It mentioned several private companies already investing in the initiative as Syngenta and Yara which actively working with rice producer Kilombero Plantations Limited (KPL) and development partners to strengthen rice value chains and smallholder engagements in Kilombero.
The establishment of the Last Mile Alliance Partnership by several inputs companies to improve distribution and extension services to farmers; the receipt by Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA) of 1.7bn/- from the government to build collection centres for pineapple growers and Unilever and the government embarking on an ambitious partnership to reinvigorate the local tea industry.
“Unilever aims to triple its production of tea from smallholders throughout-grower schemes and generate around 148 million US dollars in export revenues,” the report stated.
It also mentions the longawaited Catalytic Fund of SAGCOT establishment and commencement of operations as important goals to meet Grow Africa initiative.
“For its part, Agro EcoEnergy Tanzania Ltd is seeking land to establish a modern sugarcane plantation and build a factory for producing sugar, ethanol and power.
In response, the government has piloted a cooperation framework that balances the interests of all stakeholders, striking a win-win deal whereby local communities will receive a 10 per cent nondilutable shareholding in the project company, Bagamoyo EcoEnergy Ltd.
The local communities will also receive a further 15 per cent bonus -share stake after 18 years of operation, all in exchange for Bagamoyo EcoEnergy being granted a 99-year lease of land free from encumbrance,” the report noted.