More and better tea, coffee, fruits, and vegetables in Tanzania!
Anyone can see the huge potential that Tanzania has to produce tea, coffee, fruits, and vegetables. Yet production is struggling and quality is uneven. The high number of small farming families that want to live from this activity are struggling to make ends meet. This is not unique to Tanzania; we see the same in most developing countries.
On the surface, the problems are easy to define: Low pay to farmers, insufficient commercial and other infrastructure, low knowledge levels, and stiff international competition, among numerous other factors. Value Chain studies have been conducted, trying to define the root causes of these problems - they all end up with long lists of up to a hundred problems that need to be addressed.
Once these problems have been defined, the next question arises: What can be done to solve them? No matter how you try to answer, it becomes clear that you need to be equipped with a multitude of tools and actions to try - in the end - to improve the livelihoods of Tanzania’s small scale farmers. This is where the AGRI-CONNECT programme comes in. Since January this year, FCG has been the main provider of consultancies, knowledge, and management support.
Through AGRI-CONNECT, the EU is providing 100 MEUR over four years to support:
- Value chain development for small scale farmers. Groups of NGOs have joined together in seven entities to support farmers and their organizations to develop their incomes from tea, coffee, and horticulture.
- Developing the processing agro-industry by providing investment capital to produce for export and local markets; funding packaging, transporting, storage, and similar using a blended finance mechanism, where the EU shares the financing responsibility with Tanzanian institutions.
- Improving the roads in often remote areas, so that products do not deteriorate because of unpassable roads and so that transport becomes cheaper and more reliable.
- Improving the nutritional status of the families in the producing areas.
- Supporting the central and local governments in Tanzania to create a better business climate for tea, coffee, and horticulture. We analyze laws and regulations and the way in which they are implemented. We increase cooperation between good initiatives. We assist with advice to reduce unnecessary costs and tariffs. We help to create a better dialogue between government and the business community.
We have to work with almost everything
FCG is working as the lead consultant to make sure that all these different arms of AGRI-CONNECT work in combination towards the overall goal. We work to make sure that women and young people are given extra opportunities, so that they have the same chance to develop as everyone else. FCG is also designing the follow-up evidence-based system so that AGRI-CONNECT will adapt with time and so that credible lessons learned can be used by others in Tanzania.
This means that our job is to ensure that everything is evidence-based and we are therefore setting up a comprehensive system to analyse facts and results. FCG is assisting central and local governments with specialized studies to form a basis for political decisions. We are also holding cross-cutting workshops to allow all groups to meet and build technical capacity for a better tea, coffee, and horticulture production. We are developing training programmes, e-based learning, and information systems and networking with trustworthy commercial operators.
But we are likewise also management consultants. FCG supports the governance structures of AGRI-CONNECT with advice, analyses and facts. We support efficiency in documentation, meetings, and communication. We make sure that we ourselves, and all others that work together with us, are always focused on the end goal - to improve the situation for small scale farmers.
For anyone interested in the details of the programme or wishing to connect with us, we are happy to talk to you.