Developing Markets Associates (DMA) hosted the UK-Tanzania Agriculture Investment Roundtable, in London, on 21st October, 2013, in association with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Agriculture was identified as a priority area for the UK-Tanzania Prosperity Partnership, which was agreed earlier this year between Hon. Mark Simmonds, FCO Minister for Africa and HE Dr Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania. The sector is the mainstay of the Tanzanian economy, contributing 27% of GDP and generating over 70% of employment in the country, but is dominated by smallholder farmers, with poor access to markets. The Roundtable successfully brought together representatives from the Government of Tanzania, the FCO, UKTI, DFID and leading UK private sector companies to explore opportunities for the UK to partner with Tanzania in developing the sector.
One particular initiative that the Government of Tanzania was keen to promote was SAGCOT (Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania), a partnership between the Government, the private sector and development partners that is spearheading reform and growth in the southern agriculture corridor of Tanzania. SAGCOT aims to catalyse $2.1 billion of private investment over a twenty year period, alongside public sector grants and loans of $1.3 billion, in order to triple the area’s agricultural output and bring approximately 350,000 hectares into profitable production.
The Roundtable featured a key note speech by Hon. Christopher Chiza, Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives to highlight the investment opportunities that exist in Tanzania, as well as presentations by Geoffrey Kirenga, Chief Executive Officer, SAGCOT Centre and Professor Peter Mahamudu Msolla MP, Chairman of the Tanzanian Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Water.