Stories tagged: Yara

The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania

With Dar es Salaam port providing access to the Indian Ocean for the interior of Tanzania and its neighbouring landlocked countries – Malawi, Zambia and the Congo, Tanzania has a large agricultural potential. The Southern Corridor, through serving both regional and international markets, could become a vibrant sustainable commercial farming sector, helping to enhance local food security and economic development in Tanzania. This potential, however, has been greatly underutilized.

In 2009, Yara and other partners began the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), to harness this potential. In a Blueprint for Investment, more than 350,00 hectares of farmland will be put under commercial production, to be farmed by emergent and smallholder farmers. The estimated results for the scheme indicate lifting two million people out of poverty, offering at least 20,000 smallholders the opportunity to become fully commercial and bringing in annual revenues of an estimated US$ 1.4 billion into the country.

Several key stakeholders from the public and private sectors are taking part in SAGCOT with Yara, including the governments of Tanzania and Norway, the African Development Bank, World Bank, FAO, and the Tanzania Agricultural Partnership. Similarly to the Tanzanian national policy initiative “Kilimo Kwanza” (“Agriculture First”), the intention is to support smallholder farmers to become commercial farmers, involving the development of clusters of commercial farms and agribusinesses through the corridor, in areas with high agricultural potential.

Building on Kilimo Kwanza, the SAGCOT will have US$ 2.4 billion of private investment over a 20-year period, alongside public sector commitments. The intended result is a tripling of the area’s agricultural output.  In an area that has a diverse range of climates and altitudes, a broad range of crop production will be invested in, including cereals, horticulture, coffee, tea, potatoes, bananas, beans, vegetables and sunflowers.

The Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor Project

Launched in early 2009 at the World Economic Forum, the Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor is a project based in Mozambique that seeks to stimulate a major increase in agricultural production in an area whose growth potential has not yet been realised. The Beira Corridor has 10 million hectares of arable land with good soils, good climate and reliable access to water, but despite the promising conditions, very little commercial agriculture is practised.

The Beira Corridor project aims at drawing smallholder farmers out of the cycle of subsistence farming by providing the infrastructure, finance and training needed to improve their productivity.  The project has followed a cluster approach whereby agriculture is developed around existing infrastructure, which provides easy access to electricity and water supplies, for irrigation, and road and rail networks for access to markets.

The initiative is a joint scheme between various public and private sector organisations in the international community, including the Government of Mozambique. It was set up by Yara, who recognised the huge potential of the Beira Corridor as a key contributor to achieving food security. The project’s goal is to establish the corridor as a major agricultural producing and processing region over the next 20 years.

The Beira project will help to realise the agricultural potential of the region, with significant benefits for farmers and local communities. As a case study, this kind of project could be replicated and scaled up elsewhere in Africa and other parts of the developing world, to make best use of arable land, helping farmers improve their livelihoods and produce a secure food supply for their communities.