H.E. Kikwete Urges African Leaders to Support Private Sector Involvement in Agricultural Transformation
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania: July 15, 2021 – Former Tanzania President and Board Member of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) H.E. Dr. Jakaya M. Kikwete has urged African governments to create a conducive environment for private sector participation as a way of speeding up the sought-after agricultural transformation.
H.E. Kikwete was speaking on Wednesday July 15, 2021, during a press conference in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam. He was joined by H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, former Ethiopia Prime Minister and AGRA Board Chair, Tanzania’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Hussein Mohamed Bashe, and Prof. Riziki Shemdoe, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry in the President’s Office in charge of Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG).
In his remarks, H.E. Dr. Kikwete recommended the development of public infrastructure including roads, electricity, and market structures, which he described as necessary for attracting private sector participation in agricultural value chains.
Agreeing with H.E. Dr. Kikwete, Hon. Hussein Bashe said that his government’s investment in infrastructure and policy development had helped increase private sector investment in Tanzania’s food value chains to nearly Tsh. 4 trillion (USD1.7bn) in three years.
The Deputy Minister further announced that the government had prepared a ready market for the country’s maize farmers as a way to incentivize more production.
“With this year’s bumper harvest, the government will from August buy each kilogram of maize from farmers at Tsh. 500 (USD 0.22),” he said. The TSh.500 (USD 0.15) is a 43 percent increase from the Tsh. 350 that the National Food Reserve Agency paid for a kilo of maize in 2020.
H.E. Dessalegn announced that AGRA will support the Government of Tanzania’s agro-industrialization development program.
“AGRA will work with the government on its industrialization agenda that seeks to drive the country’s diversification and expansion of agro-industries. AGRA will work with sector-line ministries to mobilize both technical and financial resources,” he said.
H.E. Dessalegn further invited all agriculture stakeholders to the 2021 AGRF Summit which will be hosted by the Government of Kenya from September 6 -10.
The Board Chair has been in Tanzania since Friday last week as part of a cross-Africa tour to witness the impact of AGRA’s work, while mobilizing political goodwill and private sector participation in the transformation of the continent’s food systems. He has so far travelled to Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. From here, H.E. Dr. Kikwete takes over the role as he visits Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique.
To pick up the momentum, H.E. Dr. Kikwete joined H.E. Dessalegn in an engagement with stakeholders from Tanzania’s seed sector on Thursday morning. The purpose of the session was to share the progress that has been made so far in seed subsector development in Tanzania, with support from AGRA and other development partners.
The seed program has been a key area of focus for AGRA since 2006 when it started operations in Tanzania. The subsector has remained central to AGRA’s strategy and operations even as it opens new areas of investment in policy and advocacy, soil health and market development.
Established in 2006, AGRA is an African-led and Africa-based institution that puts smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. Together with our partners, we catalyze and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farming households in 11 African countries by 2021.
The AGRF is the premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. The Forum is designed to energize political will and advance the policies, programs and investments required to achieve an inclusive and sustainable agricultural transformation across the continent.