Tanzania will this week host the first ever agribusiness investment showcase event aimed at harnessing the potential for investment in agriculture, trade and socio-economic development in the Southern Agriculture Corridor of Tanzania SAGCOT region.
The two day conference to be held in Dar es Salaam under the theme ‘Accelerating Tanzania’s Agribusiness Investment’ is organised by Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office and the SAGCOT Centre.
Announcing the conference at the weekend in Dar es Salaam, TIC Acting Executive Director Raymond Mbilinyi said apart from harnessing the potential for investment, the conference will introduce prospective investors through tailor-made targeted investment promotion besides making physical visits.
Mbilinyi told journalists that the SAGCOT investor showcase is expected to attract 70 foreign prospective investors and over 40 local firms ready to seize all existing investment opportunities falling under the corridor.
“The government is actively promoting SAGCOT,” he said.
President Jakaya Kikwete and Premier Mizengo Pinda have shown dedication to promote agriculture in the country and that it is now time to put things in action for the benefit of local and foreign investors, he said.
The conference will offer the opportunity for local agribusiness investors to network with their counterparts from abroad, he said, adding that it is expected that participants from outside the country will come from Asia, Europe and the Far East.
“This event will give a splendid opportunity for both local and foreign investors to learn and understand why they should invest in SAGCOT,” he explained, adding that a number of ministers will present papers on various ways for which to attain development through modern agriculture from different perspectives.
There will also be presentations on specific investment projects on the rice, sugar and livestock sectors, including dedicated breakaway discussions and question and answer sessions.
There will be also an opportunity to visit earmarked investment sites on the second day and see work underway to improve supporting infrastructure, he said.
For her part, SAGCOT Centre deputy chief executive officer Jennifer Baarn said the conference is an opportunity to showcase what the country has to offer, but more specifically, what its investment priorities are.
“SAGCOT is Kilimo Kwanza in action, targeting Tanzania’s south-central ‘granary’ region,” she said, referring to the country’s initiative (Agriculture First) that seeks to transform the sector into a highly productive area and an engine of economy.
SAGCOT is a public-private partnership that hopes to catalyse responsible private sector investment that will bring major benefits to domestic food supply, engage with smallholder farmers and local communities, and strive to do so in an environmental sustainable way.
Baarn said that SAGCOT is looking forward to work with the Tanzanian government in addressing specific policy reforms that will enable both local and foreign investors to make sustainable investments in the corridor.
The 2011 SAGCOT investment blueprint envisions clusters of profitable farming and agricultural service businesses supported by coordinated investments in infrastructure, value chains, farming systems and human capital.
Innovative financing mechanisms, including a multi-donor catalytic investment fund, will leverage over USD2bn of private investments.