Tanzania launches new initiative to fast track agro-industrialisation

26Oct 2020
The Guardian
Tanzania launches new initiative to fast track agro-industrialisation

THE newly established Tanzania Agro-industries Development Flagship (TAIDF) is set to accelerate agro-industry based inclusive economic growth, characterized by agro-processing for domestic and export markets.

Prof Riziki Shemdoe, Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Industry and Trade made the remarks recently in Dodoma when speaking at the official launch of TAIDF, which is part of the implementation of Agriculture Sector Development Programme (ASDP II), is a framework strategy designed and developed through a public-private partnership process.

 The event was attended by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Regional Head (Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda), Prof Nuhu Hatibu, AGRA Tanzania Country Manager, Vianey Rweyendela, Donald Mizambwa AGRA Program Officer and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) representative, Dr Stephen Kargbo.

Prof Shemdoe, who was speaking on behalf of Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, Policy Coordination and Investment, Dr Dorothy Mwaluko, said that the initiative is meant to catalyze earlier and current efforts in agro-industrialization by providing a coherent framework for coordinating actors and resource mobilization in support of agro-industries development in Tanzania.

At the moment, he said that Tanzanian markets most agricultural products in their raw forms due to low levels of agro-processing.

He said the flagship will change the tide, affirming that its focus was strengthening, consolidating and improving agriculture processing, which will create a more reliable market for farmers.

According to Prof Shemdoe, the framework will lead to the enhanced and more coordinated development of the agricultural value chains, with a private sector induced investment in the production of agro-inputs and value addition.

 The framework seeks to increase the contribution of the manufacturing sub-sector to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 8.1% (MoFP, 2019), to 17.8% (8.1%+ 9.7%) by 2025.

 The flagship seeks to increase the total GDP by 5% and add the contribution of the agro-processing to 12% of GDP, create 1 million jobs (mainly women and youth) with new employment opportunities by 2025, which will have a positive impact to over 7 million households directly or indirectly.

This, in essence, will have a direct multiplier effect to the agriculture sector’s contribution to GDP, which at the moment stands at 29.1 %, contributes over 65 % of employment, 65 % raw materials used in the manufacturing sector and 30 % of gross exports.

 Prof Shemdoe noted that the framework strategy was in the making from 2019, involving multiple stakeholders in the public and private sector, as well as development partners.

 “I thank Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and other development partners that have played a key role in the realization of the framework,” he noted.

AGRA provided expertise and funding of the process backed up by its resource partners-Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF); Rockefeller Foundation (RF); United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department for International Development (DFID), and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Prof Shemdoe noted that Tanzania was ready for huge investments in agro-processing, thanks to strategic infrastructure projects put up by the government.

“The government has put in place a friendly policy environment backed up by strategic infrastructure projects for efficient road, rail and air transport,” he noted.  They include a modernized Julius Nyerere International Airport, international highways, regional and track roads linking up the country with Africa, as well as SGR Railway.

He noted after completion of Rufiji Power Station, there will be increased power for use by industries.  Prof Shemdoe said the framework opens the way for the private sector to decide on myriad niche agro-investment opportunities in Tanzania, which can be scaled up to capture domestic and export markets. 

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Gerald Kusaya also said the implementation of the framework will catalyze an agro-industrialization revolution, which Tanzania was ready for.

“We want more people to be attracted to investing in agriculture. The presence of more industries means that agriculture will pay more and Tanzania can produce billionaires out of agriculture development,” he said. 

He said the framework implementation on the government side was inter-ministerial and reiterated that Tanzania had a good business environment and supportive infrastructure.

  “Over 100 levies have been abolished to make investments in agriculture friendly,” he said, adding that the government was making deliberate efforts to have various industries that support the farmer, revived and also have in place new industries.

“The presence of industries will stimulate the sale of livestock products including meat, milk and hides,” said Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries.

He added that Tanzania had a huge stock of livestock—33,4 million cattle, and 22 million goats, 5.6million sheep, 637,000 donkeys, 2 million pigs, and 83million chicken.

Paul Sangawe, the Director of Government Policy and Coordination also attested that the flagship will strengthen and expand agricultural industries.

“The flagship will accelerate agricultural growth, value addition and trade promotion in crop, livestock and fisheries,” he noted.

 AGRA Regional Head Prof Nuhu Hatibu noted that the flagship was vital for taking agro-industrial development in Tanzania to a new level.  He noted that Tanzania has a great capacity for the development of crop and livestock farming as well as fisheries, and what is need to upscale, was the presence of industries.

“The flagship is for spearheading the development of crop, livestock and fisheries subsectors…. With increased industries, farmers are assured of markets and they can produce more,” he noted.   Local industries for inputs like fertilizers and pesticides would reduce dependency on imports and lower the cost of doing business in agriculture, while crop processing would add value to products sold in domestic and export markets, he noted.

“There are immense opportunities in agro-processing that can make Tanzania the China of Africa in terms of industrialization,” posited, AGRA Tanzania Country Manager, Vianey Rweyendela. 

He applauded the Government for showing high levels of commitment in the implementation of ASPD II.

“The development of the flagship by the government to mobilize and coordinate investments towards agro-industrialization is another milestone in the right direction. AGRA will continue supporting the government’s efforts to develop the agriculture sector for the benefit of millions of farmers in the country,” he noted.

Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Dodoma Representative Ringo Iringo, said the blueprint implementation would help in scaling up existing investment in agroprocessing and also bringing in new players on board. The proposed Agro-Industries Development Flagship (TAIDF) will be a game-changer, he noted.