Expectations are high for the Tanzanian government to implement the second phase of the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP II) which was launched recently by President John Magufuli in Dar es Salaam.
The first phase (ASDP I) was implemented between 2006/07 and 2013/14.
ASDP II is a 10-year programme that will be implemented up to 2024/29 to improve agriculture production, raise incomes of smallholder farmers and ensure food security and nutrition.
Targeted for improvement are crop, livestock and fisheries value chain commodities. They include rice, maize, cassava, potatoes, bananas, coffee, cotton, sunflower, coconuts, sesame, and palm oil, cashews, tea, sugarcane and horticulture.
Also targeted are dairy farming, beef, goat, poultry, fish, and seaweed.
The programme will gobble up Sh13.8 trillion in the first five years in which the government will contribute 40 per cent and 60 per cent will be contributed by development partners and the private sector.
In a stakeholders’ meeting in Dar es Salaam recently, the majority of civil society organisations were impressed by the programme, but were concerned about how it would be implemented.
Agricultural Non-State Actors executive secretary Audax Rukonge said: “There are major improvements in the ASDP II because the ASDP I was like in trials and thus various challenges occurred. So the ASDP II will learn from the previous experience.”
He said the first phase of the programme had no industrialisation aspect and that was why over 75 per cent of produce were exported in raw form.
However, his concern is ASDP II’s huge dependence on donor funding.
Land and agriculture researcher Emmanuel Sulle chronicles earlier similar programmes, which were not fully implemented.
He cites the 1972 ‘Siasa ni Kilimo [Politics is Agriculture]’ policy by then President Nyerere to improve food production. “In 1983 there was ‘Kilimo cha kufa na kupona’ slogan which aimed at enhancing smallholder farmers. In 1984 there was an irrigation farming programme.”
He also mentions the ASDP I in 2006 and the Agriculture First (Kilimo Kwanza) before venturing into the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania, Big Results Now and the National Policy for Agriculture, before the now ASDP II.
“The issue is not only having agricultural programmes, but how to implement them.”
A representative of livestock keepers, Mr Moses Makoye, believes ASDP II will be successful if there is a political will.
“Unfortunately, the ASDP I didn’t involve stakeholders like smallholder farmers and livestock keepers. Most of them use to see some projects ordered from above without their consultations. As a result, some projects were misallocated.”
However, ASDP II coordinator Stephen Michael says stakeholders have been involved since the programme preparation.
Ms Stella Massawe, from the Regional Strategic Analysis Support System, speaks about the importance of complying with international agreements on agriculture development. She mentions the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which is the result of the Malabo Declaration.
The Malabo Declaration was adopted in 2014 after the African Union unveiled its ‘Year of Agriculture and Food Security’, marking the 10th anniversary of the CAADP on January 30, 2014 during its 22nd Assembly in Addis Ababa under the theme “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods: Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development”.
The climax of the 2014 AU Year of Agriculture and Food Security was marked during the 23rd ordinary session of the AU Assembly in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on June 26-27, 2014 during which AU Heads of State and Government adopted the Malabo Declaration. As part of the recent commitments, the AU Heads of State and Government committed to ending hunger and halve post-harvest losses by 2025.
“Tanzania has failed to meet targets of CAADP as it has just got 3.1 points which is below 3.9 required points,” she says.
According to her, Rwanda is leading with 6.1 points, followed by Ethiopia with 5.3, Kenya 4.8, Burundi 4.7 and Uganda 4.4. She insisted on the 10 per cent of the agricultural ministerial budget requirement of the Malabo and Maputo declarations, which Tanzania has not complied with.