Stories tagged: Tanzania

Video: In Conversation with a Female Food Hero

“Mama Shujaa wa Chakula” is unlike any reality show you have seen before. Translated from Swahili as “Female Food Hero” the show run by Oxfam searches for a different kind of superstar – one that can feed her village.

With the aim of helping rural women overcome the disadvantages they face when running farms – from lack of access to finance, equipment and land – the show sees 19 competitors participate in farming challenges. During the process, they also get expert training on leadership and finance, and the chance to share their techniques with each other.

In the latest season, Bahati Muriga Jacob won the grand prize of 5 million Tanzanian shillings, plus 20 million shillings’ worth of farm equipment. We met her at the World Food Prize, and found out what she had to say about life as a female farmer in Tanzania.

Catch all the episodes of Mama Shujaa wa Chakula on YouTube. For more video interviews from Farming First, visit our YouTube channel.

Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) Financial Fair

24th – 25th February 2015


FAST Financial Fairs (FFFs) are a core service of the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) that aim to increase investment flow to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within sustainable agriculture value chains. An FFF consists of a set of strategic one-on-one meetings between preselected sustainable SMEs and socially-oriented Financial Service Providers (FSP). In these meetings, SMEs present their investment cases and financial documentation to selected financial institutions to discuss a potential business opportunity. Following these meetings, further discussions and negotiations between the parties may or may not occur. FAST monitors and follows up on these discussions to identify the impact of the events.

Since the first FFF, which was held in Honduras in 2010, FAST has hosted 9 FFF events bringing together SMEs and FSPs from over a dozen countries at events in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, and Tanzania. Several Fairs have also targeted key sectors in different regions like coffee and forestry.

The first seven Fairs have facilitated approximately $38 million USD in funding for agricultural SMEs. Results are still being collected from the 2 most recent FFFs.

The next FFF is scheduled to be in Tanzania over February 24th and 25th 2015. It will follow a process through which FAST has pre-selected local agricultural SMEs, and has strengthen their financial management skills through training and a target coaching, as well as outreaching FSPs highlighting the potential of investment in the local agricultural sector.

If you are interested in being considered for participation in the upcoming FFF, please contact FAST Project Manager Ainina Aidara ([email protected]) for more details on criteria and the selection process.

Farming First Partners with African Green Revolution Forum

Farming First is delighted to announce that the coalition is partnering with the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) to promote its global dialogue, taking place from September 26th to 28th, in Arusha, Tanzania.

AGRF 2012 is expected to be the next milestone in developing African-led food security solutions and will set the stage for Africa’s leaders to drive the initiative by promoting investments and policy support to increase agricultural productivity and income growth for African farmers.

During the forum, hosted at Arusha’s Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, global leaders will tackle leadership policy, revolutionising African agricultural finance models, strengthening markets, and transforming African agriculture through innovative partnerships.

Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives the Honorable Christopher Chiza says:

 Tanzania has long known farming is at the center of our economy. We are pleased to welcome leaders from across the continent and around the world to find new ways to scale the success we’ve seen in our own agricultural breadbasket.

The forum brings together African Heads of State, ministers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, farmers, NGOs, civil society organizations and scientists to discuss and develop concrete investment plans for scaling agricultural development success in Africa. Tanzania will welcome notable guests including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates, IFAD President Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, Nigerian Minister of Agriculture the Hon. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, World Food Prize Laureate Prof. Gebisa Ejeta, and Yara International President & CEO Jørgen Ole Haslestad.

At the recent G8 Summit, global leaders including 21 African countries and 27 private sector companies committed $3 billion to a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, launching the next phase of the global food security effort to raise 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years.

The forum will remain focused on unlocking Africa’s agricultural potential by empowering smallholder farmers across the continent. By collaborating with farmer’s organizations, civil society and other partners, the discussion will explore new ways to provide resources, overcome challenges and improve yields for the millions of farmers who are working less than two hectares of land across the continent.

Register to attend.

Innovative Social Enterprise Helps Farmers Use their Bicycles to Grind Grains, Charge Batteries

Global Cycle Solutions (GCS) is a social enterprise started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US to develop and commercialize innovative, pedal-powered devices for villagers around the world, ranging from agricultural processing tools to green battery charging.  GCS targets the world’s 550 million small-scale farmers living on less than $1/day.

Its first products are the bicycle-powered corn sheller and grain grinder, devices that can help farmers save a considerable amount of time and effort in the field.  These products can be attached to any bicycle, using a universal GCS interface, and the bicycle retains its functionality when the devices are disengaged.

GCS has just started its operations in Arusha, Tanzania over the Summer 2009. It aims to leverage the country’s vast network of dealers (bicycles shops, hardware & agriculture stores, agri-dealers) who will sell the products to micro-entrepreneurs. Micro-entrepreneurs will in turn service local farmers by locally processing their production, allowing them to save time and effort.

A first pilot project conducted in Arusha suggested that micro-entrepreneurs can expect to recoup the purchasing cost in less than two weeks.  Local microfinance organizations are being involved to help farmers access these products.

Dr. Marjatta Eilitta Discusses Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

_MG_5687Based in Accra, Ghana, Dr Marjatta Eilitta of the International Fertilizer Development Center recently presented some of her views on how farmers in sub-Saharan Africa could gain better access to agricultural inputs through better policy and market conditions.

The average farmer in sub-Saharan Africa uses only 8 kilos of nutrients per hectare of cultivated land.  This is less than one-tenth the average amount used elsewhere in the world.  What’s more, these inputs are often reserved only for the plantation crops which are then sold in the foreign export markets.

Dr. Eilitta argues that the marketplace for these agricultural inputs is “undeveloped or fragmented”.  Prices for fertilizers in Tanzania are 50% higher than they are in Thailand (and 80% higher in land-locked Mali than in Thailand).  Countries also often lack fertilizer laws for regulating use and holding suppliers accountable.

But Eilitta also offers hope for progress.  In the Abuja Declaration, African leaders agreed to increase average nutrient use to 50 kilos per hectare by 2015.  Eilitta also offers three areas on which further improvements should be based:

1. improve supply systems for fertlizer while opening access to profitable export markets

2. support the people not the products through the use of government-issued vouchers and the monitoring of agri dealers

3. promote multi-country agricultural input markets with harmonized regulations, developed regulatory systems, and reduced tariffs

Watch the video here: