Understand smallholder farmers’ hurdles, stakeholders told

Agriculture continues to be the backbone of the Tanzania’s economy; it is the biggest employer, a leading foreign earner and source of food for the population.

The sector contributes 25 percent of the GDP and employs 75 per cent, whose majority are smallholder farmers in rural areas.

However, despite various efforts by the government, private sector and civil societies, smallholder farmers in the country still grapple with number of challenges that prohibit them to fulfill their vital role in food production, processing and marketing activities.

Speaking at the launching of the Inclusive Green Growth of the Smallholder Agriculture Sector (IGGSAS) Programme recently in Dar es Salaam, the MVIWATA – Executive Director Stephen Ruvuga said smallholder farmers still lack safe place to store and process their harvest, credit to pay for inputs and a market to provide a fair price for their produce.

“Smallholder farmers continue to face operational issues including lack of levy harmonization, infrastructural challenges. They lack access to improved crop varieties, fertilizers, finance, and market opportunities,” he said.

Explaining further on smallholder farmers’ experiences, challenges and opportunities on access to agricultural inputs and output markets, Mr Ruvuga said the issues of fake seeds, pesticides and other input are rampant in the market and they are hurting famers badly.

He called for stakeholders’ joint efforts to come up with several initiatives to promoting judicial use of industrial agro-inputs while observing importance of preserving and exploring potential of indigenous knowledge on soil fertility and local seeds systems.

In her opening remarks, the AGRA president, Dr. Agnes Kalibata said the IGGSAS programme launched would provide the opportunity to work with at least 30,000 farming households in the Mbeya Region over the next 5 years.

“Using our established to package interventions we will provide critical momentum towards enhancing market driven productivity across the entire value chain and contribute to critical ecological integrity.”

The initiative, which is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focuses on strengthening at least six crop value chains to operate more efficiently while increasing access to inputs and knowledge of agronomic practices amongst smallholder farmers.

The programme also aims to provide access to markets and improve the policy environment and advocate for climate-smart agriculture.

Share This:

MVIWATA director Stephen Ruvuga shaking hands with Agra president Dr Kalibata

Commodity Prices

Publications

No publications found

Mviwata on Facebook

Newsletter Subscription

Subscribe to our news & updates