The government has emphasized the need to transform agriculture in order to improve the livelihood of farmers, hence combat poverty.
This was said yesterday in Dar es Salaam by the Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, when launching a book titled 'Agribusiness for Africa’s Prosperity'.
The book is co-authored by four people - the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development organisation (UNIDO), Dr Kandeh Yumkella , Dr Patrick Kormawa, who is the UNIDO representative and director regional office in Nigeria, Dr Torben Roespstorff and Dr Anthony Hawkins.
Dr Kigoda said if the theory presented in the book is blended with practice and take into account the reforms which have been undertaken, tremendous impact would be achieved in terms of job creation, production capacity enhancement, efficiency, quality improvement and increased income, poverty reduction and better life for farmers.
He said the book focused on clear linkage of the value chain from the farm to the kitchen involving all stages of chain.
According to him, there is a need to develop both soft, hard and institutional infrastructure to cater for small-scale farmers.
He said since capital is the major challenge compared to labour and land, financial services have to be pro-poor.
“It is not enough to deal with non-income poverty alone; we also need to squarely address challenges of income poverty,“ he said.
He emphasised the need to undergo deep and profound transformation of the economic make-up by migrating from an agriculture-led to an industry-led economy.
“We have a strong base of developing agribusiness given the current encouraging expansion of small and medium-scale enterprises in our country. What is needed is to implement good plans we already have in place,” he added.
For his part, Dr Kormawa said the book was being launched in five African countries, including Tanzania, with the main theme of how African countries can prosper through value-addition to its agricultural produce and trading nationally and internationally.
He said the book outlines and analyses seven pillars which are key to agribusiness' development. They are enhancing productivity, upgrading value chains, exploiting international, regional and local demand,
Other pillars are strengthening technology and innovation, promoting effective financing, promoting private participation and improving infrastructure and energy access.
Successful agribusiness growth depends on improvements along the value chains from efficient post-harvest policies and technologies in processing, storage, packaging and market distribution are also some of the pillars.
He said transformation of agricultural raw materials into industrial products depends increasingly on the capacity of African entrepreneurs to participate in the global, regional and local value chain.
Different people attended the launch, including representatives from the government, media, academy, research institutions and the private sector.