Stakeholders at the African Green Revolution Forum in Accra have discussed the agricultural growth corridor initiatives in Tanzania and Mozambique. They outlined the model for large-scale, multi-stakeholder national value-chain projects.
The agricultural growth corridor initiative focuses on the need to ensure that markets exist for increased output and that farmers have access through ICT to local, regional or international market analysis. Public private partnerships and alliances are necessary to fast track development along a given corridor and at the same time helping to balance issues of scalability, knowledge transfer and market access particularly as they relate to small scale farmers and African entrepreneurs and investors.
Government and business leaders need to proactively work across borders to develop an on-going corridor management process. Public and private resources will need to be aligned to create a policy and investment climate that promotes the scope for such agriculture growth corridor initiatives.
The initial support for the concept of agricultural growth corridors has caused a core working group to be convened to discuss options for fast tracking.
The Tanzanian government is very passionate about the corridor initiative and is committed to bringing private sector on board. The Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, Peniel Lyimo stressed that “Public Private Partnerships are very important for us and we are learning to harness the power of the private sector and with government playing a facilitation role”.
From the Private Sector Perspective, Salum Shamte, Chairman of Agricultural Council of Tanzania agreed that Agriculture is a critical part of the development of Tanzania and for three years both the private and public sector have together developed a home grown solution together. He further stated that “it is one year into implementation and we have already started seeing results”. He stressed the importance of smallholder farmers in Tanzania saying if you eliminate them, “you would be excluding 80% of the population”.
Other participants included Chris Isaac, Director of Business Development of AgDevCo, Per Emil Lindoe is Investment Director of Norfund, Giulia Di Tommaso, Director, External Affairs, Africa, Middle East and Turkey of Unilever. The session was chaired by Sean de Cleene, Vice President Global Business Development and Public Affairs of Yara International.