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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Improved rice value chain expected to increase production

14th September 2012

Quality quantity of rice production in the country is expected to improve, thanks to ongoing government intervention into the sector and co-funding from development partners.

SNV Tanzania, in collaboration with, the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD), has announced a rice sector development Project (2013-2015) financed in part by the Common fund for commodities (CFC).

A statement issued by the Netherlands based SNV, yesterday in Dar es Salaam, says the overall goal of the project is to improve the level of food security and the living standards of rice farmers in Tanzania.

Further the objective of the project is to establish a ‘demand driven model’ to boost the rice value chain in Tanzania and expected to lead to a quantitative and qualitative increase in rice production.

As part of the preparations for a four year project, SNV in collaboration with two local processors in Mbeya, has created an entry point for a rice market based approach that is also part of developing the value chain in the country, the statement said.

Tanzania‘s economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for 45 percent of gross domestic product, 80 percent of employment and 30 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.

About 85 percent of country’s poor live in rural areas and rely on agriculture as their primary source of income.

However, the sector is underdeveloped due to a weak under-developed private sector, poor agricultural marketing policies which are fragmented and prone to political interference coupled with poorly managed infrastructure.

Also, restricted access to profitable markets locks in the majority of farmers in the subsistence production level of activities where many earn less than USD 1 a day!

Given the fact, development of the sector is critical as a major income generator a source of employment, reduces and even ultimately may very well eradicate poverty in the country.
In this context SNV Tanzania, focuses on the development of the agricultural sector to foster economic development and poverty reduction, the statement reiterated and expounded the scope of the project short-listing their objectives: The development of value chains of red meat, dairy, edible oilseeds (sunflower and sesame) and staple foods.

Value chains create a large outreach in terms of the umber of households engaged in production and also increases potential rise income and employment levels. Inclusion in agricultural value chains means that smallholders can sell more products at higher prices. This result is increased income and long-term social benefits especially in rural areas.

Starting out in the Netherlands more than 40 years ago, we now work in 36 of the poorest countries worldwide, explains the SNV website,  SNV is an international not-for-profit development organization whose global team of local and international advisors works with local partners to equip communities, businesses and organisations with the tools, knowledge and connections they need to increase their incomes and gain access to basic services - empowering them to break the cycle of poverty and guide their own development.

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