The National Agricultural Policy, Private Sector Engagement and Climate Change are among the major issues that were discussed at the 6th Annual Agricultural Policy Conference (AAPC) as more than 250 stakeholders in the agricultural sector met in Dodoma City.
The three-day conference kicked off with key players in the agricultural sector meeting to deliberate on how the country can improve specific policies, which would ensure steady food security, nutrition and job creation in Tanzania.
Some key development partners that were present at the conference — that also included government officials and representatives from Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) — were the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the UN Women among others.
The conference was sponsored by USAID, FAO, The World Bank, TADB, UN Women, JICA, AGRA, ASPIRES, TAHA, Dalberg and FSDT.
Addressing a news conference a day before the Conference, the Chairman of the Policy Analysis Group (PAG), Audax Rukonge, said the meeting would bring together over 250 participants from academia, research institutions, policymakers, advocacy groups and development practitioners from Tanzania.
Mr Rukonge who doubles as Agricultural Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF) Executive Director, further explained that the AAPC is Tanzania’s high level policy dialogue convened for the stakeholders both from the public and private sector to present their research findings, success stories, and share best practices and chart out a way forward for future reforms.
“Agriculture in Tanzania is at a transformation point. Our economy is growing, yet this has not always fully reflected in the lives of Tanzanians, who mostly depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
The sector holds the opportunity to create jobs, grow the economy and lift its people out of poverty, if strategic investments are made into the sector. For the next three days, key stakeholders will delve into seven thematic areas with aim of deriving solutions that will enable and drive the sector’s transformation,” he said.
The meeting was held with the theme ‘Public and Private Sector Investment for Agricultural Transformation in Tanzania: Tackling Agribusiness Drivers and Enablers in Crops, Livestock, Fisheries and Agro-processing.’
Speaking on the conference’s theme, Senior Agricultural Policy Analyst, Professor Isaac Minde, said that it would tackle value chain specific policies to increase the impact on food security, nutrition and job creation in Tanzania as it keeps pace with the expanding economy.
According to Prof. Minde, key areas of discussions revolved around drivers of growth, including macro and micro economic policies and enabling the sector to grow with a key focus on supporting infrastructure, finance and human resource.
The theme was aligned in the Fifth Phase Government agenda of prioritizing manufacturing and agro-processing to push the economy up the value chain, in order to achieve middle-income status by 2025.