To assist the selling of surplus food crops, Tanzania has established grain storage facilities in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Juba, South Sudan. Last week, agriculture minister Hussein Bashe said on social media that the country planned to establish a second store in Mombasa, Kenya’s coastal city.
“We have opened grain centres in Juba, South Sudan, and Lubumbashi in the DRC and already delivered 800 tonnes of grains to the two centres. This is all in efforts to enable Tanzanian farmers and traders get good markets for their products,” Bashe shared via Twitter. “We believe access to markets motivates farmers to increase production.”
According to statistics, Tanzania exported more than 97 000 tonnes of maize in 2019 alone. This was one of the factors that helped the country determine to launch its grain surplus scheme with the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), which was established in 2010.
This project will enable the country to utilise more than 350 000 hectares of arable land to grow maize, paddy, wheat, sorghum, millet, cassava, beans, sweet potatoes and bananas are grown over in the country’s lush southern highlands region.
“The objective of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) Investment Project is to increase the adoption of new technologies and marketing practices by smallholder farmers through expanding and creating partnerships between smallholder farmers and agribusinesses in the Southern Corridor of Tanzania,” according to information from The World Bank, a funder of SAGCOT.
Strengthening opportunities for smallholders
“There are three components to the project, the first component being strengthening SAGCOT support institutions. This component will strengthen the capacity of SAGCOT support institutions in order to pursue their functions of information and data provision, support of investment planning and guidance, government/private sector intermediation, business enabling environment and investment promotion.
“The second component is the strengthening smallholder business linkages. The objective of this component will be to link smallholder farmers to agricultural value chains.
“The component will: (a) expand the number of smallholders linked to agribusinesses in successful commercial partnerships; and (b) improve the benefits derived by smallholders and rural communities from these partnerships in the form of growth in agricultural productivity, income, resilience to shocks, employment and improved food security. This component will comprise two sub-components: fund management, and matching grants.
“Finally, the third component is the project management and monitoring and evaluation. The component will establish project management and M&E systems and provide financing for salaries, office equipment, transportation and technical assistance services. Complementarities will particularly be sought with other IDA funded programs such as the Private Sector Competitiveness Project and the Agricultural Sector Development Program.”