On Monday 21th June 2021, the European Union (EU) and the Government of Tanzania jointly launched AGRI-CONNECT, a flagship programme to support sustainable agriculture for a total EU funded amount of EUR 100 million (approximately TZS 275 billion). The launch was graced by the Minister for Agriculture, Honourable Prof. Adolf Faustine Mkenda and the Ambassador of the European Union to Tanzania and the East African Community, H.E. Manfredo Fanti, and was attended by approximately 100 participants at the Modern Mbeya Highlands in Mbeya. The event marks 45 years of cooperation between the two parties and reflects the renewed commitment of the EU and the Government of Tanzania to work together for the people of Tanzania.
AGRI-CONNECT focuses on the development of horticulture, coffee and tea value chains. In line with the EU “Farm to Fork” strategy, the programme adopts a holistic approach, starting from improved production in the farms up to the final products reaching the market and the consumers, while taking care of the health aspects as well as the need to protect the environment.
By supporting horticulture, coffee and tea, the EU ultimately aims at improving smallholder’s income and nutrition by contributing to increased productivity, sustainable production, post-harvest management, value addition, and improved market linkages.
To facilitate access to markets and reduce post-harvest losses, 46% of the AGRI-CONNECT budget have been allocated to upgrade the network of rural roads in the targeted districts.
AGRI-CONNECT creates opportunities for increased export volumes and revenues, including from premium markets, and for on-farm and off-farm entrepreneurship, creating jobs and benefits, especially for women and youth.
AGRI-CONNECT also addresses the business environment, as outlined in Agriculture Sector Development Plan (phase II, 2018-2028) and the Blueprint for Regulatory Reforms to Improve the Business Environment, launched by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in May 2018. The programme includes support to private sector investments, which play an important role throughout the value chains.
Finally, the programme will support the development of a national awareness campaign to foster behavioural change for improved nutrition, in line with the Government's 2016 Food and Nutrition Policy and contributing to the objectives of the National Multi-sectoral Nutrition Action Plan (2016–2021).
AGRI-CONNECT is managed by the Ministry of Agriculture in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Livestock in Zanzibar, while the different components of the programme are implemented in collaboration with and through the support of a team of technical assistants, Civil Society Organisations, Private sector companies and Government institutions such as Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), Ministry of Works and TARURA.
This launch event is also part of the Campaign on Climate Change, launched by the EU Delegation to Tanzania in the framework of the European Green Deal. The campaign titled Resilience to Climate Change! runs from May to October and foresees several events across Tanzania.
Speaking during the launch event, the Ambassador of the European Union, his Excellency Manfredo Fanti said that "AGRI-CONNECT will reach up to 150,000 smallholder farmers in the Southern Highlands and in Zanzibar and will connect farmers to markets, support behaviour change for good nutrition practices and promote women and youth employment and climate smart agriculture. AGRI-CONNECT will contribute to inclusive economic growth, promote private sector investment and job creation in Tanzania with the overall aim to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives."
Agriculture remains central to Tanzania’s industrialisation drive as articulated in the Government's Five-Year Development Plan and the Agricultural Sector Development Plan Phase Two-ASDP II. ASDP II was launched by the government in June 2018 and will help to catalyse industrial growth through the agricultural sector. The aim is to almost double the country’s agricultural growth rate from the current 3.7 % per year to above 6% by 2022. An increase in agricultural productivity will form the basis of the country’s industrialization push and employment creation. AGRI-CONNECT is fully aligned with the Government's priorities as outlined in ASDP II and the Zanzibar Strategy for Agricultural Development.
Speaking on behalf of the Government, the Minister for Agriculture, Honourable Prof. Adolf Faustine Mkenda, expressed the Government’s appreciation for the financial support extended by the European Union to support Tanzania's Agriculture sector. He stressed, "We are particularly grateful for the EU financial support, which has come at the right time when the ASDP II has been launched and the Government continues to create an enabling environment for industrialization to foster economic growth. AGRI-CONNECT will contribute to overcoming key constraints that limit production, value addition, marketing and access to regional and export markets for horticulture, coffee and tea farmers. The Regional, District and Value Chain Boards (Tea and Coffee) should be involved in the programme implementation processes for increased ownership and sustainability”.
The European Union, through the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programme (NIP 2014-2020), has committed EUR 547 million to support three main sectors: good governance and development, energy and sustainable agriculture.
For agriculture, EU has allocated a total amount of EUR 135 million to improve the sustainability of and increase the wealth created by the agriculture sector and reduce vulnerability in the context of a changing climate. This is in line with priorities under national and sector development plans and will strengthen EU-Tanzania cooperation in the agriculture sector.
The objectives pursued through the EU funded programmes are:
A part from AGRI-CONNECT, other agriculture and nutrition programmes funded by EU under the 11th EDF include:
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For more information please contact:
Manka Kway, Events and Logistics expert - AGRI-CONNECT
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0755 907 920
Pamela Kanora – EU Interim Press & Information Officer
E-mail: Pamela.KANORA@ext.eeas.europa.eu /0754 323 245