Trends and outlook report on key agriculture and rural development indicators in Tanzania

The government of Tanzania is implementing an Agricultural Sector Development Programme. Its objective is to increase productivity, profitability and farm incomes by improving farmers’ use of and access to agricultural knowledge, technologies, marketing systems and infrastructure. The share of agricultural sector to GDP and export has declined in the past 10 years. An assessment of the linkages between agricultural investment, growth, and poverty and hunger reduction in the past decade reveals that there is an apparent disconnect between the observed growth and poverty and food security outcomes in Tanzania. Read more here.
USAID, ReSAKSS and ILRI

Diversification of regional economy defended

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) has appealed to its member states to do more to diversify their economies, emphasising agriculture as a means for improving food-producing capacity. It said the focus on agriculture should go together with the development of an internal transport network linking agriculture production zones and consumer markets. Each country should consider agriculture as an important sustainable source for their economies. Read more here.
ANGOP

Idasa responds to Land Bank announcement

The Public Expenditure and Smallholder Agriculture Project in African democracy institute, Idasa, has welcomed the Land Bank’s commitment to spend 1 billion rands on emerging farmers in the next two years as a move to unlock the long-term potential growth of agriculture as one of the pillars of South Africa’s economic development. Please read attached press release for more information. Read more here.

Markets key to achieving food security

The failure of many African countries to increase their spending on agriculture has been seen as a serious impediment to the continent’s mission to boost economic growth. But the story is different in a few countries. During the African Agricultural Markets Programme (AAMP) 5th regional policy seminar in Kigali recently, it was indicated that linking smallholder farmers to markets was key to achieving food security in Africa. This seminar, which is an initiative of Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA), discussed the extent modern African agriculture can lead to poverty reduction. Read more here.
Joseph Olanyo

How Africa can learn from Chinese agriculture

African countries have spent decades trying to jump-start agricultural production. In the search for new approaches, many experts are looking for answers in China’s impressive agricultural achievements. China, of course, is very different from Africa. But, China’s commitment in the 1980s to increase food production and rural income rapidly was a central pillar of the broader economic development agenda. The objective was to create the food security, rural stability, surplus income, and labour supply to drive broader industrial development. In Africa, attempts to solve agricultural challenges through surgical approaches, such as a focus on accelerating one input or other, have failed as input was turned into a commodity politicians traded. Read more here.
Steve Davis and Jonathan Woetzel

African leaders told to increase food production

African leaders under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) have been urged to increase investments in agriculture to boost food production. The call was made again by Dr Chris Muyunda, the executive director of the Alliance for Commodity Trade for Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) at the Africa Agricultural Markets Programme policy seminar held in Kigali. Despite the Maputo Declaration, only eight out of the 53 countries have met the target to increase investment in agriculture to 10% of their national budget. This is a serious impediment to the continent’s aim to boost economic development. Read more here.
Prossy Nandudu

First dialogue aimed at significant change

The first dialogue of Ministers of Agriculture, Science and Technology in Africa hosted by Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) was held in Accra. The dialogue, which was recommended during the 5th FARA General Assembly in July 2010, stressed that significant changes need to happen through the application of appropriate research, science, technology and science education to multiply agricultural productivity. Ministers and other stakeholders from over 15 countries have recommended the establishment of an African Union Monitoring System to allow effective implementation and follow-through of decisions taken at the first Annual Dialogue. Read more here.
Global Media Alliance