|FANRPAN challenges Tanzania on Agricultural issues
|6 September 2012
The Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) has challenged the Tanzanian government to further improve on its commitment to agricultural development.
FANRPAN Chief Executive Officer Dr Lindiwe Majela Sibanda challenged Tanzanian President Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete to improve on the use of fertilisers and effective seeds.
"Currently most African countries apply ten kilograms of fertiliser per hectare, whilst the international norm is at least 100 kilograms per hectare. To feed Africa's one billion people calls for drastic improvements in the basic elements of planting conditions. Adequate fertilising is one of these."
FANRPAN awarded President Kikwete with the FANRPAN Policy Leadership Award for 2012. The award is made annually to individuals or organisations that make extensive contributions to food security through policy development, appropriate technology and other interventions.
Kikwete was instrumental in implementing a 14-year programme to support and transform Tanzania's agriculture sector through interventions like irrigation, input subsidies, the development of markets, a livestock development programme and the establishment of the Agricultural Development Bank.
Of particular importance is the formulation of Kilimo Kwanza ('agriculture first'), Tanzania's green revolution to transform its agriculture into a modern and commercial sector. This public/private partnership initiative raises agricultural productivity through enhanced investments in rural infrastructure such as roads, irrigation, high yielding seed varieties, fertilizer and technology.
In his acceptance speech President Kikwete said Tanzania is 95 percent food sufficient.
"This, however, does not mean that the agricultural sector that employs 70 percent of Tanzanian citizens, should not become a value-adding industry. Farmers should become part of the bigger value chain. Cotton farmers, for example, should not only grow cotton, provide raw cotton to manufacturing countries and then import cloth and garments. They should become involved in the preparation of raw cotton for weaving, and the manufacturing of material and garments. In this manner they assist in tasking farming to the next level of an industry that adds value to the country’s economy."
He said Tanzania will favourably consider FANRPAN’S challenge and do its best to meet the targets.
About 250 delegates from 30 countries are attending the FANRPAN Policy Dialogue in Tanzania this week.
The dialogue is reviewing, among others, youth involvement case studies in Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. It is also evaluating entrepreneurship possibilities for the youth as well as opportunities in communications and information communications technology and involvement in policy decision making.
Also high on the agenda is Africa's progress with the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) which was established in Maputo in Mozambique in 2003. Known as the Maputo Declaration, Africa’s leaders committed to allocating ten percent of their national budgets to agriculture by 2008 to achieve an average annual growth rate target of six percent in agriculture by 2015.
Seed policy harmonisation in the Southern African Development Community countries is also being debated in depth.
Sibanda says no dialogue about agriculture is relevant without discussing climate change. Civil society is committing to responsible increases in agricultural productivity through climate smart agriculture, which includes proven techniques such as agro-forestry and conservation agriculture that combine adaptation, mitigation, resilience and food security.
"African leaders in agriculture and indeed African heads of state will have to take the global lead to bring together a climate deal that has a dedicated work programme for agriculture. It is of utmost importance that Africa puts climate smart agriculture high on the political agenda," she says. "FANRPAN and its partners ensured that one of the outcomes of the UNFCCC COP17 in Durban was a dedicated work programme for agriculture. This will be debated at COP18 in Dowa, Qatar later this year," says Sibanda.