The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (“SAGCOT”) Initiative is a Public-Private Partnership initiated at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa (WEFA) Summit in Dar es Salaam in 2010.
Its implementation period runs for 20 years up to 2030. Its ultimate objective is to boost agricultural productivity, improve food security, reduce poverty and ensure environmental sustainability through the commercialization of smallholder agriculture. The mandate of the Partnership is to achieve this objective by catalyzing responsible private sector-led agriculture development within an ever-improving business environment. The Partners’ implementation arrangements are governed by the following partnership principles:
- Engaging smallholder farmers and ensure environmental sustainability through their investments;
- Partnering with others to promote a harmonized approach and improve synergies within and across priority value chains;
- Maintaining engagement, communication and support for the SAGCOT Centre;
- Contributing to the resolution of policy and infrastructure constraints; and
- Considering new and innovative financing mechanisms.
The SAGCOT Initiative is the dream, but in order to turn the dream into reality, it needs an action plan and an operational support system to actualise the dream. This operational support system is the SAGCOT Centre Ltd.
The SAGCOT Centre Limited (SCL) was established as a limited company by guarantee in 2011. The SCL works as a broker and catalyst of partnerships among registered partner organizations to incubate initiatives around inclusive, sustainable and viable agricultural value chains. The key role of the SCL is to facilitate partners to deliver on inclusive, sustainable and commercially viable agricultural value chains in the SAGCOT Corridor. By having the visibility of and connection to actors in the whole ecosystem, the Centre’s role is to:
- inform private and public investment about partnership opportunities as well as priority policy reforms to achieve the SAGCOT objectives;
- track progress, through monitoring and evaluation, within the partnership, ensuring follow up of partner commitments and progress towards their objectives;
- encourage and facilitate active participation of the private sector in promoting a cohesive partnership;
- promote policy and regulatory reforms necessary for achieving SAGCOT objectives;
- derive lessons, adopt approaches to cluster planning and partnership facilitation, and to communicate on behalf of the SAGCOT Partnership; and
- promote the SAGCOT partnership, and its opportunities, to a wider audience and array of both regional and international partners.
These roles are carried out by three Departments that make up the SCL: Clusters and Partnership, Policy, and Operations.
Central to SCL’s Cluster approach is brokering and supporting the work of Strategic Partnerships in the field. These partnerships are comprised of agribusiness companies, farmer organisations, civil society organisations (CSOs), and government agencies with a role to play in developing the value chains of prioritized agricultural enterprises. They work together in resolving constraints they have identified as a collective partnership.
The five partnerships are categorised into value chains. The current value chains established in late 2016 are; Soya, Tea, Dairy, Tomatoes and Potatoes.
The operations of these value chains are coordinated in the various regions through SCL’s field office in the Ihemi Cluster which is managed by the Head of the Clusters and Partnership Department. An important feature of the support is, in collaboration with partners, to develop solutions to commodity-specific problems. The USAID-funded project through the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Potato Project, which came to an end on September 30, 2017, is an example. The project stimulated and attracted new investments in the potato sub-sector in the Corridor.