Tanzania`s agricultural growth represents case study.
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (R) exchange views with Melinda Gates (L) when the two visited a village in Arusha recentlyFormer UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (R) exchange views with Melinda Gates (L) when the two visited a village in Arusha recently.
The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF-2012) ended in Arusha city recently. The Forum brought together African leaders, agricultural experts, civil society organisations, farmers and development partners. Correspondent GERALD KITABU who attended the forum highlights reasons why Tanzania was selected to host it.
From September 26 to 28 Arusha city in northern Tanzania hosted the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2012), building on the recent momentum to tackle global food insecurity.
The forum was attended by African heads of state, ministers, international and civil society organisations, the private sector, farmers and other stakeholders.
Under the theme, “Scaling up investment and innovation for sustainable agricultural growth and food security”, the forum set the stage for African ownership in the next phase of scaling agricultural development solutions and steering investment to build a sustainable, food secure future.
African leaders, organisations, researchers, ministers, permanent secretaries, international organizations, civil society, the private sector, farmers, AGRA secretariat, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, and journalists assembled at the Ngurudoto Hotel, defying the morning chilly weather.
The first to arrive at 7.30 am were the conference organizers, followed by the delegates.
Some visibly seen public figures were the first Vice President of Zanzibar, Seif Idd, Second Vice President of Burundi, Eng. Dr. Gervais Rufyikiri, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Jane Karuku, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International, Jorgen Ole Haslestad.
Joining them from global arena was the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is the Chairman of AGRA and Melinda Gates, the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates and the host President Jakaya Kikwete. Different plenary sessions ran simultaneously in different rooms, with some African leaders, agricultural experts, civil society organizations, and other agricultural stakeholders taking part as panelists.
Some of them were Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Minister, Eng. Christopher Chiza, AGRA President Jane Karuku, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International, Jorgen Ole Haslestad, editors from different media houses in Africa, to name but a few.
There was tight security as only registered conference participants who had badges were allowed to attend.
Simultaneous interpretation into other international languages such as French and English and sign language were available. To make the public informed, senior journalists and editors from all over the continent and outside Africa were all busy rushing up and downs, defying their comfortable seats to capture every event that was taking place.
As delegates flocked in the Tanzania convention centre, a group of Maasai dancers adorning in traditional dresses jumped high, blowing whistles. One could see the delegates shaking hands and patting each other’s biceps as they were taking their positions in the soft chairs of the convention centre.
There was joy, sympathy, friendship, and laughter throughout as others thanked God for the wonderful progress made on agriculture.
However, casual glances at trees along Ngurudoto Lodge, one could see the birds swaying smoothly on feeble branches they pecked at and preened their feathers excitedly as they were preparing to life themselves on the crests of their high spirits into the luminous softness of that beautiful day of the forum.
More than 1,000 delegates were in the convention centre. A concrete multi-billion self-contained building with all furnished services such as cafes, media centre, exhibitions pavilions, swimming pool, a huge dining hall, name what! But one could ask himself, why was Tanzania selected to host the AGRF 2012?
Tanzania is endowed with huge arable land area estimated at 44 million hectares. However, currently, only 10.1 million ha or 23 percent is cultivated.
The total potential irrigable area is estimated at 29.4 million hectares with different suitability levels with 2.3 million ha of high irrigation development potential, 4.8 million ha of medium potential and 22.3 million ha of low development potential According to the AGRA president Jane Karuku, Tanzania's recent agricultural growth represents a case study of what is possible. For example, in Kilombero district in Morogoro region, the yields for maize have recently increased for some smallholder farmers from 1.5 to 4.5 tons per hectare; the yields for rice have increased from 2.5 to 6.5 tons per hectare. The goal of the government is to transform Tanzania into a middle income country by 2025, fuelled by growth in its agricultural sector.
On his part, President Kikwete said that agriculture has always been given priority since independence in 1961. Speaking at the opening of the forum, Kikwete said that the most recent initiative to develop agriculture in the country is the 2006 Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP).
“This is 14-year programme aimed at transforming Tanzania’s agriculture through overcoming obstacles to transformation and growth of the agriculture sector,” he told the delegates.
He said, however, that in the course of implementing the programme, it was realised that it was overly dependent on government financing and support from donors. Unfortunately, the government’s financial capacity was very limited and donors financing was not sufficient enough to meet all the needs of the sector.
“Donor support to agriculture in Africa has declined from 18 billion dollars twenty years ago, to 3 billion dollars three years ago before increasing to the current level of 6 billion dollars,” he said.
The President hailed AGRA for its support on agriculture sector, particularly in four inter-linked programmes; namely Africa’s Seed Systems, Soil Health Programme, Market Access Programme and Policy Programme.
He said in 2011 AGRA supported the Ministry of Agriculture to develop the breadbasket strategy. The implementations of the programmes are continuing to bear fruits.
Citing an example, the president said AGRA programmes have helped to reduce distance farmers travel to access agricultural input from an average of 30 kilometres to 16 kms in the 39 districts where the agro dealer development is being implemented.
AGRA’s support has also helped to reduce post harvest losses from 30 percent to 15 percent in Kilombero district.
“These are no small achievements. We want to reassure those who are supporting AGRA that your money is not wasted. It is making a difference in the lives of Tanzania,” said the president.
He requested donors to increase their support, adding that government will increase the involvement of the private sector to address financial, technical and technological challenges facing agriculture.
“In 2008 my government in collaboration with the private sector decided to undertake a joint study of the situation of agriculture in the country and agree on what we can do.
The study concluded that agriculture needed to be given top priority by everybody. The government, farmers, private sector and development partners, we all agree that agriculture should come first and this is what gave birth to the catch-phrase or motto of Kilimo Kwanza meaning agriculture first,” he said.
He said the government will continue with its facilitation and enabling roles. This includes putting in place sound policy and regulatory environment, investing in research and development, providing extension services and building relevant institutions.
AGRA) chairman Dr. Kofi Annan commended Tanzania for its initiatives that are being taken, commitments and determination to transform agriculture sector saying long term solutions to food and nutrition security can be realised.
He said that agricultural investments must rise to at least 10 percent levels of the national budget pledged under the 2003 Maputo Declaration. The right policies are also needed to increase public and private investments.
Commenting on supporting small-scale farmers, Annan said that across the board, there must be an unwavering focus on improving the productivity and profitability of small holder farmers-most of whom are women.
He said they can be supported by creating opportunities to enable them to move from subsistence farming to running their firms as business, and encouraging community cooperation to empower individual farmers.
He also pointed out that there is a need to ensure they are well organized and have access to seeds, fertilizers, knowledge and markets so they can play their full role in Africa’s agricultural transformation and embrace new technologies to give younger generation’s greater opportunity to play a large role in the agricultural revolution.
However, he said larger farms have also a critical role to play, particularly in testing and disseminating new technologies and providing opportunities for aggregating small holder production for market.
“We cannot increase food production in the speed needed without empowering small-scale producers, so it is high time for leaders to take actions and increased funding from donors,” he said.
Linking food security and health issues, Melinda Gates, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates, called on African governments to take practical actions to improve food security saying that would solve some health issues resulting from hunger and malnutrition.
She said that for a viable productivity, there is a need to empower women as well because they are the ones who work hard and produces more at family level.
“When you look at family level, majority of producers are women. So, we need to respond to what women farmer’s needs,” she said. Annan and Melinda Gates visited rural cassava farmers and a commercial village dedicated to cassava processing in Arusha to learn more about the positive impact that higher yields and increased market opportunities bring to farm families.
They toured a commercial village that is part of the Cassava Village Processing Programme (CVPP) in Meru, an initiative that is supported by AGRA and implemented by Farm Concern International (FCI) in Eastern Africa. The visit was conducted prior to the start of the three-day AGRF 2012.
Melinda and Annan tour of the farms aimed at learning how smallholder farmers in the country are achieving in self-driven agricultural efforts and how their efforts can be transformed and guarantee food security on the African continent.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) also funds the AWM solutions project in Tanzania (AgWater solutions project).
The main goal of the Project is to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers through agricultural water management (AWM) solutions.
Agriculture minister Christopher Chiza said that given the importance of agriculture, which has the potential to alleviate poverty among poor people and enhance economic development, Tanzania has embarked on several programs including policy environment that aimed at making the country food self-sufficient.
“Policy environment is a key issue, Tanzania is committed to making this a reality. We will continue addressing challenges so as to unlock the potentials in agriculture,” he said.
He urged African leaders and other stakeholders to make sure they turn experiences and knowledge gained during the forum into actions adding that the private sector has a key role to play in strengthening food and agricultural support systems.
“That’s why in recent years,” he said, “the government of Tanzania has been committed to working with the sector through public–private partnership to enhance agriculture in the country. My appeal to you all is to turn this into actions and in partnerships to ensure that small farmers particularly women benefit from these interventions in a more profitable and sustainable manner.”
He added: “Let’s not forget that we all should strive to make farming a business that would attract youth to agriculture and increase employment. Without new technologies, better seeds and other farm inputs, it will be difficult to improve agriculture and realise a food secure nation.”
Challenges facing millennium development goals.
Tanzania’s leadership is struggling to promote gender equality to meet the requirements of the Millennium Development Goals. Success of the MDG number 3 and target number 4 are all intended to be portrayed by four major indicators. The goal is to promote gender equality and empower women, while the target is to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005 and in all levels of education not later than 2015.
The four indicators are: Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education to be equal as well as ratio of literate females to males among 15 – 24 years. Two other indicators are:- share of women in wage employment in the non agricultural sector, to be the same as that of men and proportion of seats held by women in the national parliament to be 50%.
Gender equality can simply be preached and lived; enrolment of children in pre and primary schools has always been done without discrimination among children of both sexes in our country. Nevertheless, the ratio has never been as required.
In 2007, the number of boys enrolled was 4,215,171 while that of girls was 4,101,754. Moreover pregnancy further lowered the number of girls by raising the number of girls’ school drop-out. The men responsible with the pregnancies have been going unpunished, even though the law states that 30 years’ imprisonment is what they deserve for so doing.
What happens is that, a parent who happens to sue a man for impregnating his/her daughter is required to go to court. Going to court takes time, and sometimes bus fare where the court is some distance away. The magistrate may postpone the case three our four times, leaving the parent tired and broke. Without bus fare, the parent will not be able to report again to the court.
Without complainant, the magistrate will not be able to go on with the case. So the accused walks away to ply his trade. Postponement of such cases may be intentional, although some magistrates may give excuses which cannot be denied as genuine.
In some communities, girls are given into marriage at a young age, sometimes as young as 12 or 13 years. Although the law says that any person under 13 years is a child and children are not given into marriage, the same law says that a girl of 14 can be given into marriage at the consent of the parents.
Even if this law is amended, to prohibit such girls of tender age to be given into marriage, yet some culprits will break that law and the principle will again protect such law-breakers; cases will be postponed till complainants lose hope and decide to work in their fields instead of wasting time by going to court where justice is not expected to be dispensed. Again none will be convicted.
The number three indicator which is equal share of women in wage employment in the non agricultural sector cannot be implemented without adequate education being considered. It will not be proper to pick a woman from the streets and employ her in an office, just to balance the number of women against that of men in offices.
The same applies to indicator number four. The proportion of seats held by women in the national parliament will depend on the academic qualifications of the women. When women candidates cannot compete with men academically, voters may vote for them at their peril. Even the president may nominate some of the kind, but such members of parliament will be a burden to the house.
These are only challenges rooted from education. There are more when we consider other aspects. For example, when empowering of women is being considered, land ownership should not be excluded. However, land is acquired through inheritance or acquisition, which is by paying money to buy it. Inheritance can be given by parents to their children. Parents themselves give away their possessions to children according to certain criteria. In some societies, a girl who marries becomes part of the husband’s family. Some parents do not consider such daughters in their wills.
In case they die, what they will inherit will be the deceased mothers’ clothes and maybe jewelry (unfortunately very few women in our culture have jewelry) but not land. Some fathers bequest their possessions to children after weighing what such children are worth. A daughter who had had no income, who had not brought even a half kilogramme of sugar to her father is not likely to get something valuable from such a father, who is the sole owner of land in the family.
As in the case of acquisition, one has to pay money to buy land. A woman who had had no learning, no employment will not be able to buy land. Moreover, money lenders need security for their money. Without security, an ordinary woman is not likely to get a loan from our banks. Some money-lenders who have more lax rules are those who take loans from our banks and lend it in small amounts to their customers, especially “mama-lishes”, who cannot make any development because the rates of interest are high. The lenders have to charge much to pay back their creditors and leave some to pay for their own survival.
In order to meet the MDGs requirements, education obstacles to girls must be dealt with accordingly. The law intended to safeguard children (Education law 25/1978) must be in operation. The Swahili language newspaper, Uhuru of November 20, 2006 reported that 47 girls failed to complete standard seven in Kilombero district because they got pregnant and some of the men responsible with the malady had been dealt with, but others were living with the girls as their wives.
This was an Area Commissioner’s report to his senior, the Regional commissioner. One wonders why these others were given a green light, to live with the pregnant pupils, while the law states plainly that they should be punished.
Sometimes the chains that prevent us from being free are more mental than physical...
ELIMU DUNI YA FEDHA INAWAATHIRI WANAKOPAJI BENKI…
October 10 hadi 13 mwaka huu, ilikuwa ni wiki ya huduma za kifedhana uwekezaji, iliyofanyika jijini Dar es salaam.
Katika maonyesho hayo hakuwepo kwa taarifa maalumu ya kuonyesha idadi ya washiriki, lakini ilionekana kuwa na washiriki wengi katika wiki hiyo.
Inawezekana idadi kubwa ya washiriki ilikuwepo kutokana na kutokuwepo kiingilio,pia na kutolewa bure kwa elimu iyo ya ujasiria mali kwenye mabanda zaidi ya matatu kwnye viwanja hivyo.
“nimejua mengi kuhusu namna gani naweza kupata mikopo na jinsi ya kusimamia biashara yangu katika hali ambayo itanipa ufanisi wa kudumu”.
“mimi n mjane,nina watoto wa tatu ambao nawatunza na nimekuwa nahangaika kupata mkopo, nafuga kuku, ambao nafikiri sasa nahitaji mkopo ili nikuze mtaji wangu” anasema Muro.
Anasema ipo haja ya wiki ya huduma za fedha zikaendeshwa katika maeneo mengine nchini ili kuwasaidia watanzania wengi zaidi ambao tafiti zinaonyesha kwamba hawana ujuzi wa kusimamia fedha zao kwa ufasaha.
ELIMU DUNI NI CHANZO CHA WAKOPAJI KUTOREJESHA MIKOPO.
Muro anasema kutokuwa na elimu ya kutosha kuhusu elimu ya fedha, kumesababisha watu wengi kushindwa kulipa madeni wanaokpa benki.
“nilichogundua kwenye wiki hii ya fedha ni kwamba taasisi nyingi za mikopo nchini zimekuwa hazitoi elimu nzuri ya mikopo , na taasisi hizo zinafanya hivyo kwa lengo la kuwadhulumu hasa katika marejesho na kupitia riba za mkopo, lakini hakupewa elimu jinsi atakavyoendesha biashara yakeau kusimamia fedha yake sawasawa..”
MAMBO MUHIMU KABLA YA KUKOPA MKOPO..
Taarifa ya taasisi ya Bogach Finance Co.Ltd inaeleza kwamba ni lazima mkopaji awe na sababu ya uhakika ya kuchukua mkopo huo, kabla ya kuamua kufanya hivyo.
Bogach Finance Co. Ltd imekwa ikitoa mikopo kwa ajili ya watakaotaka kujiendeleza kielimu, kulipia pango la nyumba,kununua viwanja na huduma za mikopo kwa vikundi.
Kampuni hiyo imebainisha kwamba siri moja ya kuw a na mafanikio mazuri yatokanayo na mkopo ni kutimiza malengo ambayo muombaji anakuwa amejiwekea kabla ya kuamua kukopa.
Baadhi ya wakopaji wamebaini kwamba zipo taasisi ambazo zinatoa mikopo bila kubainisha aina ya riba wanatozwa katika mikopo wanayotaka.
Mfanyabiashara wa soko l kariakoo Jonathan Kihaule , ambaye alikwenda kwenye wiki ya huduma ya fedha , alisema kuna benki zimekuwa zikifurahia wakopaji kutokuwa na elimu ya mikopo.
“nilichogundua baada ya mafunzo, kutokuwa na elimu ya kifedha kunasababisha matatizomengi katika maisha. Kwa mfano mtu anaeza kukimbilia riba ya asilimia mbili kwa mwezi, ambayo ukichanganua ni sawa na asilimia 24 kwa mwaka na kuacha riba ya asilimia 10 kwa mwakaambayo ni nafuu”
Mfanyabiashara huyo amewashauri watanzania kujua muda wa marejesho ya mkopo, masharti ya riba kabla ya kukimbilia kukopa kwa kuwa kadri muda wa kurejesha mkopo unapokuwa mrefu riba pia inakuwa kubwa.
Kwa mfano, mkopo wa sh5 milion unatozwa riba ya 24% kwa mwaka ukitaka ukatwe ndani ya miaka mitatu riba itakuwa 964,000 lakini watu wengi hawana ufahamu kuhusu hilo.
NI KOSA LA TAASISI ZA FEDHA KUTOA SIRI.
Kumekuwa na malalamiko kutoka kwa baadhi ya wakopaji kwamba baadhi ya taasisi zimekuwa zikiwatangaza watu wanaokopa mikopo katika taasisi hizo jambo ambalo kampuni ya huduma ya fedha ya Finscope Survey imeonya tabia hiyo.
Finscope Survey inakiri kwamba watoa mikopo wamekuwa wakitangaza taarifa za wateja wao kwa watu wengine na kukiukasheria za mikopo ya Benki Kuu ya Tanzania( BOT Act2007).
Taarifa za mkopaji zinatakiwa kuwa siri kati ya ofisi ya mkopo na mteja wake kwani kutoa siri ya mtu mwingine ni kinyume cha sheria.
TAFAKARI DHAMANA YA KUWEKA KABLA YA KUKOPA.
Mchambuzi wa maswala ya uchumi kutoka Zanzibar, Hawa Maljuni, anasema mkopaji yoyote anatakiwa kuwaza kwa makini kuhusu dhamana ya kuweka hasa kwa mikopo inayotaka mkopaji kuweka nyumba, gari au biashara kama dhamana kabla ya kupewa mkopo.
“kuna watu wengine wamepoteza gari, nyumba baada ya kuweka dhamana ili wapate mkopo. Ukweli ni kwamba unatakiwa kuweka gari au nyumba yako iwapo tu una uhakika kwamba una uwezo mkubwa wa kurudisha deni kwa wakati” anasema Hawa.
Kama una wasiwasi kuhusu kurejesha mkopo usikubali kuweka dhamana ya gari au nyumba. Pia imebainika asilimia 21 tu ya wakazi wajiji la dare s salaam na vitongoji vyake wana elimu ya usimamizi wa fedha huku asilimia 48 wana ufahamu wa kuweka akiba, hii ni kwa mujibu wa utafiti uliyofanywa na taasisi ya kifedha ya Finscope .
Kwa mujibu wa ofisa mmoja wa taasisi hiyo, Ally Goronya, karibu asilimia 80 ya wananchi wote jijini dar es salaam hawana ufahamu kuhusu maswala ya mkopo.
Utafiti unabahinisha, asilimia 54 ya wanawake wote jijini dare s salaam wanaochukua mkopo wengi wao wameishia kunyang’anywa dhamana wanazoweka ili kufidia fedha wanazokopa.
Kwa mfano, vyombo vya ndani, kama friji na mali nyinginezimekuwa zikichukuliwana taasisi za fedha kutokana na wakoaji kuwa na elimu duni ya kutunza fedha na kurudisha kwa wakati.
Utafiti huo ulifanyika mwaka 2009 na kubaini kuwa kutokuwa na elimu ya kutosha kuhusu fedha kumesababisha watanzania wengi kushindwa kufikia malengo ambayo wameweka kabla ya kuchukua mkopo.
Wateja wengi wanachukua mikopo wamekuwa wakidhulumiwa haki zao kwa sababu hawana elimu ya kutosha kuhusu fedha.
Mratibu wa wiki ya huduma za fedha, Godfrey Kivamba,anasema zaidi ya wajasiria mali 1600 walihudhuria na kupatiwa mafunzo, na jitihada zinafanyika kuhakikisha watu wengi wanapatiwa elimu.
Anasema lengo la mpango huo ni kutoa elimu kuhusumatumizi bora ya taasisi za fedha hasa suala la mkopo kwa kuwa wananchi wengi nchini hawana elimu ya kutosha, ukilinganisha na nchi kama Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, na nyingine nyingi za Afrika.
Mafunzo yaliyotolewa na pamoja na kutambua jinsi ya kufungua kampuni, mikopo na biashara.
Ofisa mikopo wa wajasiriamali wadogo katika benki ya CRDB, Frank Peter, anasema wajasiriamali wanakabiliwa na matatizo ya mitaji na kukosa elimu sahihi kuhusu jinsi ya kukopa katika taasisi za fedha.
Chanzo: Mwananchi, oct 18 2012