ALLIANCE for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has identified strategic areas to partner with the government in rolling out the newly launched second Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP II).
AGRA, a dynamic partnership that works across the African continent to help millions of small-scale farmers and their families out of poverty and hunger, has as well pledged to accelerate ASDP II implementation to realise the envisaged outcomes.
AGRA Regional Head for Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda Prof Nuhu Hatibu told reporters over the weekend that in its fiveyear business plan, the alliance focused on assisting smallholder farmers to increase productivity and income.
"AGRA is determined to contribute in enhancing agricultural productivity by partnering with the government in the implementation of ASDP II, which was recently inaugurated by the President," he said.
Professor Hatibu said AGRA plan focused on supporting smallholder farmers to benefit from expanding market access through value addition, structured trade, quality enhancement and aggregation.
"A farmer cannot benefit if the crops lack reliable market... for the produce to fetch a good market, they must be processed to add value," Prof Nuhu argued.
He said value addition on farmers' produce will stimulate establishment of food processing factories, boosting the government industrialisation drive.
Prof Nuhu further noted that AGRA will support the development of factories that will lead to expansion of food crops markets and help farmers to increase their income.
AGRA's 28.3 million US dollar (over 64bn/-) five-year plan targets 1.5 million smallholder farmers in Tanzania who will be directly impacted, with the potential of indirectly impacting on other two million farmers.
He said the alliance will focus on key crops, including maize, beans, cassava, paddy and livestock products as outlined in the ASDP II.
Prof Nuhu further said AGRA will contribute to ASDP II by helping the government to benefit from the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA) platform.
"We will support ASDP II through strengthening its coordinating unit... we believe that efficiency will be increased if all partners-donors, stakeholders and government institutions-work together," he said.
The alliance, he said, will also partner with the government in creating enabling policy environment to attract more private sector investments.
Early this month, President John Magufuli launched the 13tri/- ASDP II, which he said will accelerate the country's industrialisation drive.
Dr Magufuli said with the thriving agricultural sector, the country stands a greater chance of having strong economy that will spark growth in other sectors.
President Magufuli said ASDP II will be executed efficiently with superb results, reminding that agricultural revolution was what was termed as the best catalyst in economic revolution.
The president gave the key priority areas during implementation of the newly launched project as ensuring good production and distribution of enough seedlings.