Dares-Salam, Tanzania 17 February 2012- Ministers responsible for agriculture from seven African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Kenya and Mozambique and Tanzania) gathered in Dares-Salaam to discuss strategies for development and investment in the sector under a new regional body called - "Grow Africa". These countries have expressed and demonstrated interest to engage the private sector in their agriculture revolutions. The meeting was a result of the 2010 World Economic Forum held in Cape Town, South Africa which reached a consensus for Africa to be supported to realise true economic advancement through agriculture.
Involvement of the private sector in agricultural development is one of important components of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) under the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
The African Union (AU) Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Ms Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, said the AU has been contented with Tanzanian leadership in promoting agriculture with its "Kilimo Kwanza" agenda which is now a model in the entire continent.
She said Tanzania was on the right track in promoting agricultural revolution that paves the way for other countries, particularly members of "Grow Africa" to emulate. However, she was quick to add that without enough resources mobilization and heavy investments, it can be difficult for countries to implement the envisaged programmes currently on the drawing boards or on different levels of implementation.
"It is high time Africa stopped implementing small projects that can never realise any goals in its economy," she said. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Mohamed Muya, said in his presentation on the Tanzania's CAADP and Grow Africa position that the country has introduced the Tanzania Agriculture Food Security Investment Plan (TAFSIP).
TAFSIP, he said, was part of the CAADP operationalisation and show the country's commitments to make agriculture a priority with about seven major investments programmes. However, Mr Muya said huge financial resources needed in implementing the programmes was a challenge the country has to face, noting TAFSIP requirement of 5.3bn US dollars (about 8tril/-) for the next five years as an example.
He said plans were underway for the Rufiji Basin Development Authority (RUBADA) Act to be reviewed so as to expand its mandate to facilitate allocation of land for the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).
RUBADA, according to him, will become the land bank of the Corridor where the local based YARA Tanzania Limited is set to construct a bulk fertilizer handling facility with the storage capacity of 45,000 tonnes worth 20 million US dollars (about 35bn/).
Deliberations of the meeting will be forwarded to the World Economic Forum meeting in Addis Ababa and later at the G-8 Summit in Chicago, US in May.
Source: Tanzania Daily News