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A two day high-level policy dialogue forum is being held at Nashera Hotel in Morogoro, bringing together 70 actors, including government representatives, researchers, NGOs, and other stakeholders from around Tanzania.
The dialogue forum themed “Ensuring Quality and Adaptive Seeds for Enhancing Agricultural Productivity of Less Advantaged Farm Households under a Changing Climate: A Drive towards Industrialisation in Tanzania” is organized by the Ministry of Finance and Planning and funded by the European Union. The dialogue will map the current knowledge gaps about the Tanzania seed sector and propose actions for improving future access to climate resilient seeds in semi-arid areas of Tanzania.
The forum will also cover issues related to the seed policy and the current state of the seed sector and seed supply systems in the country. It will provide an opportunity for experts and actors to stimulate the discourse on enhancing agricultural productivity.
Speaking during the workshop, Dr. Grace Aloyce from the Ministry of Finance reiterated that ''This policy dialogue forum is a response to the challenges facing the agriculture sector in Tanzania and draws on lessons learnt from the EU funded Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) projects that are being implemented in Semi-Arid areas of Dodoma, Tabora and Arusha through the Eco-village approach, where seed varieties and new technologies are tested. Through these interventions, we have seen that improved tolerant seed varieties, which will sustain and high productivity under a changing climate are called for''.
It is envisaged that key policy recommendations will be developed and taken up by different policy and decision makers to contribute towards enhanced food security in Semi-Arid areas and the country as a whole under a changing climate.
Speaking during the workshop, the EU Head of Natural Resources, Mrs. Jenny Correia Nunes said that ''Climate change, resulting in excessive drought conditions and reduced precipitation, has impacted negatively on most of the farming communities due to crop failures. A need to ensure availability of drought tolerant and maturing seed varieties of both food and cash crops in the semi-arid areas of Tanzania is therefore of utmost importance''.
This dialogue is expected to provide a unique opportunity for participants to interact, share experience and learn from others on seed systems in Tanzania.
The Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) programme, which is funded by European Union was initiated in Tanzania in 2010 to support Tanzania’s Government in strengthening the capacity of some of the most affected communities against the impacts of climate change. Through the GCCAII, which started implementation in mid-2015, five (5) community-based projects are funded. The overall objective of GCCA is to increase capacity of vulnerable communities to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and contribute to poverty reduction in rural areas. The project intends to enhance environmental sustainability and food security by strengthening management of natural resources at the local level; contribute to gender equality and good governance by actively promoting transparency and accountability.
Among other issues that came strongly out of the implementation of the GCCA II programme especially in Arusha, Dodoma and Tabora regions in the Semi-Arid areas, is the need for tolerant seed varieties that will sustain and ensure high productivity under a changing climate.
Objectives of the Policy Dialogue
The overall objective of the Policy dialogue forum is to map the current knowledge gaps about the Tanzania seed sector and actions for improving future access to climate resilient seeds. Specifically, the policy dialogue seeks:-