The Agricultural Sector Development Programme aims to double growth
By CATHERINE RIUNGU
Nairobi, July 13, 2018. The Government of Tanzania has launched a new agriculture development blueprint that is designed to guide the country as it seeks to attain middle-income status by 2025.
The 10-year Agricultural Sector Development Programme phase II (ASDP II) which will be implemented in two phases of five years each, aims to double agricultural growth from the current 3.7 percent per year to above 6 percent by 2022.
It will also increase food security from the current 123 percent to 139 percent through 25 to 40 percent increase in yields of major produce including rice, maize, cotton, meat, and dairy.
This increase in agricultural productivity will form the basis of the country’s industrialization push and employment creation. The sector, for instance, provides 70 percent of all industrial raw materials, contributes 30 percent of GDP, generates 30 percent of the total foreign exchange and employs 65 percent of the population. Officially launching the programme which will mobilize about USD 6 billion in the first 5 years, Tanzania’s President Pombe Magufuli, vowed to tackle the challenges that face the sector including inefficiency, corruption and harmful levies and taxes. “We must ensure that all necessary institutional and policy changes are made to support the implementation of this strategy which must be prioritized” added President Magufuli. The multi-sectoral strategy that brings together various government ministries and departments, will make Tanzania’s agriculture more business oriented. It will build on the successes achieved in the last five years that saw Tanzania become food self-sufficient, with substantial surpluses in food crops. The new strategy will be key in scaling up these achievements through increased efficiency and agro-processing.
It will also improve trade. A landmark component of the strategy is its emphasis on intergovernmental collaboration and greater private sector involvement. For example, the Government and development partners will fund 40 percent of the strategy with the private sector covering 60 percent. Speaking at the launch, Minister for Agriculture, Charles Tizeba said ASPD 11 strategy will prioritize investments in key and high potential agro-ecological regions. It will also focus on flagship projects with the highest impact. “This is clear break from the past where we tried to invest in small projects across the country with minimal impact,” said DR Tizeba. He listed sustainable management of land and water resources; increasing productivity in agriculture, livestock and fisheries; value addition in agriculture produce; and creation of a conducive environment for investment as the strategy’s key focus areas.
The minister announced that the Government has committed about US$ 418 million in this financial year while the private sector and development partners have pledged to contribute about US$ 528 million to support the implementation of the ASPD II.
The strategy will see the creation of a National Coordination Unit under the Prime Minister’s office that will bring together six ministries whose work is related to agriculture. The Unit will also ensure full participation by the private sector. Over 30 development partners committed their support to the sector.They promised to continue building on the US$ 400 million that they disbursed through ASDP I. Speaking during a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and his Regional Administration and Local Government counterpart immediately after the launch, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) congratulated Tanzania on this milestone. “We are proud to be part of this process. The Government of Tanzania has once again demonstrated what dedicated leadership can achieve. As agriculture is the surest path to Tanzania’s inclusive economic growth, we will continue supporting the Ministry in the implementation of this strategy,” she said.