The Government of Zanzibar taps into the SAGCOT Way

Zimbabwe Land Commission visits SAGCOT Centre
September 30, 2018
Lime: Smallholder Farmers’ Restorative Gem
September 30, 2018

Part of the Zanzibari delegation listening keenly at discussions at the SAGCOT Centre

In Zanzibar, subsistence agriculture is the most important sector of its economy contributing 30.8% to the GDP employing 70% of the population in rural areas. But as the population grows, it is essential for the government to invest in more sustainable ways to ensure its population is well fed and catered to.

In an effort to improve the agricultural sector, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar initiated and carried out a range of agricultural programmes and projects to address key challenges that impede the progressive development of the sector including the Agricultural Sector Development Programme – Phase Two (ASDP II);  the government agricultural blueprint.

On 4 September 2018, the Zanzibar Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries experts visited the SAGCOT Centre Ltd, to learn best practices from the SAGCOT Centre operations to stimulate inclusive private and public sector partnerships to effectively accomplish the ASDP II in Zanzibar.

The government of Zanzibar will take on a clustered approach, similar to the SAGCOT Initiative. Clusters are geographical zones active in production, processing, marketing, the supply of inputs and services and further supports institutions; run by multiple stakeholders from government, private, non-state actors and farming associations to guarantee and maximize the productivity of select value chains.

This ensures sustainable productivity and competitiveness, increasing commodity volume and value of produce that enters the market for both domestic and export markets, and reliable raw material supply for local industries. This makes the clusters much more attractive for investment especially in infrastructure and other interventions in priority areas and lower transaction costs for input/output supply chains, as volumes and competition.

Geoffrey Kirenga, CEO, SAGCOT Centre Ltd, congratulated the government of Zanzibar for their decision to transform the agricultural sector and further advised them to focus prioritization of their value chains. He suggested the formation of two clusters; blue focused on Oceanic agriculture and green clusters focused on land-based agriculture.

“We are now importing fish from China and elsewhere, why can’t Zanzibar grow fish and feed the continent? You have excellent knowledge of fishing and fish varieties which is unrivalled.” Kirenga points out encouraging the team to take advantage of this knowledge to develop competitive value chains in fishing.  

“Zanzibar is in an isolated environment, which means that you can eradicate most of the diseases, pests and you can have a pest-free area for growth. Africans import bananas free of diseases, instead of focusing on banana crop, why don’t you specialize on growing banana tubers free of diseases and sell them in the content and earn twice or thrice as much? This kind of thinking and prioritisation and specialization is the best approach especially when you have the limitation of land and climatic conditions” He stated.

Sheha Hamdan, Chairperson, Zanzibar Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries expressed his gratitude for the knowledge and information shared by the SAGCOT CEO.

“The information we received today will help us a lot in Zanzibar as we build toward an industrialized Tanzania. It is important to engage the private sector to work closely with the government to overcome the challenges facing the farmers and the sector at large”. Hamdan concluded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *