Since January 2019,the “Project for Strengthening DADP Planning and Implementation Capacity through Use of SHEP Approach (TANSHEP)” has been jointly implemented by Ministry of Agriculture, President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Arusha, Kilimanajro and Tanga Regions are the primary target areas of TANSHEP.
Through this Project, selected farmers’ groups participate in a series of activities, including farm income recording, market survey, match-making fairs with private/public stakeholders, and technical training for production and marketing improvement. In many cases in Tanzania, farmers sell their produce to middlemen at their farms without first knowing market trends and/or requirements.But now with the TANSHEP, they,first of all,visit markets physically and investigate buyers’ requirements and competitiveness in the market, which leads tomaking their own decisions on how, when and what volume to produce before sowing seeds at their farms.
On 8thNovember 2019, TANSHEP Taskforce members will hold a progress review meeting in Dodoma to summarize the results of the market survey and match-making fairs, through which target farmers are equipped with potential business models and market strategies, including collaboration with various stakeholders such as RijkZwaan, YARA, Kibo Seed, Solidaridad, East West Seed Co,ETG Inputs LTD, SEVIA, NMB, EFTA, and Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB).
Through the meeting, the Taskforce members will also develop the guidance on how to facilitate farmers’ groups in formulating action plans and cropping calendars by themselves based on outputs of the hitherto activities. As such,TANSHEP creates an environment in which the farmers are not aid-receivers, but action-takerswith their own decision.
The SHEP Approach, which was firstly innovated by a JICA project in Kenya in 2006, is a unique approach to agricultural development, in which it emphasizes the concept of “Grow to Sell” among farmers to replace their conventional thinking of “Grow and Sell”. SHEP has so far been implemented in 23 countries, including Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi in East and Southern Africa.