The outgoing chairman of the Sagcot Board of Directors, Salum Shamte, said this recently in Dar es Salaam at a function to inaugurate a new board of directors of Sagcot. Shamte has been replaced by Ally Laay as board chairman.
While new Board Members are Prof. Honest Ngowi, Gaudence Temu, Antoinette Tesha-Ntlemo, Brian LoBue, Robert Pascal and Janeth Simkanga.
Shamte said this is the time for the TPSF to cooperate very closely with Sagcot to turn challenges that abound in farming into agro-industrial opportunities.
“At the moment there are wide-spread loud voices from the government talking about making Tanzania a middle income economy in less than a decade. We in the TPSF hope to work very closely with the Sagcot, turning challenges in agriculture into opportunities to grow industries,” he said.
Shamte, who is TPSF Deputy Chairman, said the only plausible way of turning the challenges into valuable opportunities was for TPSF to work closely with Sagcot in solving peasants’ problems and in making agriculture feed industries. But, he cautioned, that will only happen when peasants will produce sufficient world-class raw materials for Tanzania’s industries.
He said there was no reason for Africa to spend 35 billion US dollars on food imports while the continent can feed itself. He said there are many ways of making a peasant produce more than is case at the moment.
Sagcot’s Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Kirenga said Sagcot partnerships open opportunities for people of all skills and trades to prosper in agriculture and dairy farming.
“There are many opportunities in supplying inputs, seeds, promoting crops and adding value to all types of farm produce,” he said.
The outgoing Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Baarn, said peasants value a lot the work being done by Sagcot. “In the field, as I worked with peasants, I was taken in very high esteem; so high a degree I am unable to explain. It shows Sagcot is doing very good work to the farmers.”
Sagcot funders are the Tanzania Government, Norwegian Embassy, UKAID, World Bank, USAID, UNDP and AGRA.