Tanzania set to become EA region breadbasket
Tanzania stands to be a bread basket of this region if banks and financial institutions take seriously about farming in the country by extending the much needed finances to stop gap of the existing lack of adequate commercial farming.
The country endowed with arable land of more than 45 million tares is using 9 million hectares only to produce crops that only 2 million hectares were needed if the farming was right.
“What is needed is increasing the yield by practicing modern agriculture using scientific and economic technics that involve best practices used locally and abroad,” said Yara Tanzania Limited Managing Director Alexandre Macedo.
He said there is always improved productivity in increase of output when one puts some inputs in agriculture especially the overall important fertilizers that have the potential to increase the potential in weight and in quantity of the crop.
He said his company is in the vanguard to assist the farmers on the field through application of fertilizers by loaning them and providing extension services on better use of fertilizers and better farming practices.
Yara International ASA is a global Norwegian Company specializing in agricultural products and environmental protection agents. Founded in 1905 to solve emerging famine in Europe, today Yara has a worldwide presence, with more than 12,000 employees and sales to more than 150 countries.
“In Africa, Yara has been supporting farmers for over 87 years and has employed over 80 agronomists to share knowledge with farming communities in 10 countries across the continent. Yara’s knowledge, products and solutions grow farmers’ and industrial customers’ businesses profitably and responsibly, while nurturing and protecting the earth’s resources, food and environment,” noted Macedo in a meeting with selected media editors at their warehouses at Kurasini.
Macedo says Yara Tanzania is committed to supporting the government through the Big Results Now initiative into transforming smallholders to commercial farming. With 24 agronomists on the ground, and 58 partnerships with different institutions, Yara conducts over 10,000 demonstrations in all crops, and conducts more than 15,000 farmer trainings and field days annually, with the aim of increasing crop yields, quality and farmer income, thus ensuring sustainable business. Thousands of farmers from around the country have benefited from trainings and educational events conducted by Yara.
He observed that Yara is an international company, with production, sales and services, research and support operations in America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In Africa, Yara has been present and operational for more than 30 years. Our offices and operations are in Abidjan – Cote d’Ivoire, AccraGhana, Doula-Cameroon, NairobiKenya, Dar es Salaam-Tanzania, Paarl-South Africa, Lusaka-Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia and Mozambique and our Business Unit HQ is situated in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Yara fertilizers, crop nutrition programs and technologies increase yields, improve product quality and reduce the environmental impact of agricultural practices. Our industrial and environmental solutions improve air quality by reducing emissions from industry and transportation, and serve as key ingredients in the production of a wide range of goods. They foster a culture that promotes the safety of employees, contractor and societies.
Yara International ASA in conjunction and working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries through the Tanzania Fertilizer Regulatory Authority (TFRA) in a move to ensure availability of quality fertilizer whilst also contributing to higher crop yields.
Macedo noted that Yara agronomists and appointed distributors keep vigil to ensure distribution of legitimate Yara products against the counterfeits that destroy farmers’ investment capital,
“Through using an enhanced and unique stitching on all Yara fertilizer bags we have reduced the fake products to infiltrate our distribution network. We also constantly train the farming community to provide them with capacity to select and choose high quality fertilizers.”
He underscored the importance of the fertilizer storage facility in s Tanzania by providing history of the facility that stands to impact food security of the nation.
“In September last year, Yara launched a USD 30 million fetilizer terminal in Dar es Salaam to store, bag in acclimatized installations and distribute quality fertilizer through its In Markets Storages (warehouses) at the consumption zones to farmers not only in Tanzania, but the larger Eastern African region including Rwanda and Burundi. The Public Private Partnership venture was part of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), which aims to transform subsistence smallholder agriculture into a sustainable commercial farming sector, serving local, regional and international markets. The investment was a demonstration of Yara’s long-term commitment to the development of Tanzania’s agricultural sector, “reflected the Brazilian manager.
Macedo took time to explain the company philosophy of teamwork and building alliances in solving problems and attending to important matters.
Macedo said; Yara believes in building alliances and partnerships for Africa’s development. It works in partnership with hundreds of local farmers’ organizations, community groups, non-government organizations, and donor agencies to deliver crop nutrition solutions and improve farmer livelihoods. As Yara we have gone from being involved in a few of partnerships in Tanzania, a couple of years ago, to actively engaged in over 50, including several such as with SAGCOT, WFP, BRAC, CALI, Gatsby, Sokoine University and the Last Mile Alliance amongst others that all have the potential to go to real scale.
Together with the Government of Tanzania and others, Yara is a key partner in the development of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). The Agricultural Growth concept is an innovative way to finance regional development and lift people out of poverty. The concept has a Public-Private partnership approach, and takes the entire value chain into perspective aiming to improve efficiency through targeted investment. Areas being covered include the Southern Highlands regions of Mbeya, Iringa, Sumbawanga and Katavi. Others are Morogoro, Lindi and Mtwara regions.
Does Yara have a history of working in partnership with African governments?
Yara is proud of its preeminence and global presence.
“We are the only global mineral fertilizer company with a direct presence across the continent. Continuously developed and expanded through sales offices and production facilities, this presence also gives us a deep-rooted experience of African agriculture and thorough knowledge of the continent’s challenges and opportunities.
Yara has historically taken on a role as a catalyst in promoting publicprivate partnerships (PPP), in order to rally support for much needed investments. Particular attention has been given to smallholders – the great majority of the continent’s farmers – encouraging local entrepreneurship and market development to make farming a viable business. Commenting on this basic reality he said 70 percent of the clientele are small holder farmers while commercial farmers are 11 percent in volumes of sales.
Yara finds it imperative to assist the small holder farmers as major stakeholders and have the potential of growth with time. For more than three years it has used its own funds to provide credit facility to farmers and then redeem it during crop sales season.
With time passage Yara has recognized an important role for the government of supporting the policy environment.
“Smallholders and investors in their own right will be a key focus in the endeavour to scale up efficient production in Tanzania, and likewise the role of farmers associations in bringing about the necessary aggregation. What we want to achieve is to have the African smallholders and emerging agricultural SMEs to become successful entrepreneurs and for agriculture to be the engine of sustainable growth in Tanzania and the region,” underscored Macedo.
As a profit-driven company Yara has credibility when it comes to development and according the relevant corporate social responsibility (CSR) to communities working or collaborating with in interaction.
“Yara was the first private sector company to heed the call from then Secretary-General of the UN Kofi Annan at a high-level meeting in Addis Ababa in 2004, when he urged participation from all sectors to support the development of African agriculture.
As one of few private companies in the UN Hunger Task Force, Yara gained insight into the complex issues related to hunger, poverty and development of African agriculture and economies. We also participated at the Africa Fertilizer Summit in Abuja in 2006, which agreed on a strategy to accelerate poor farmers’ access to agricultural inputs.”
Yara is actively promoting agriculture through knowledge transfer by training it’s officially appointed distributors, stakeholders and farmers.
Yara provides crop nutrition solutions for millions of farmers across Africa to increase crop yield and quality – and ultimately farmer’s profits – while maintaining soil quality and environmental values. With our global reach and scale, Yara combines world’s best agronomic practices and resources with local knowledge.
Yara has identified improved agricultural productivity as the key intervention to increase food production in a time of climate change. It offers a concept of knowledge-based application of mineral fertilizers to support efficiency.
“Yara has developed fertilizer and foliar micronutrient crop programmes to supply complete balanced crop nutrition for a wide range of arable, horticultural, grassland, fruit and forage crops, and also offers capacity building programs to farmers, ” said Yara Managing Director.
Fertilizers worldwide contribute to climate change and Yara is proactive in reducing the negative impacts in its own ways.