Tanzania is also a country where agriculture is critically important to the economy, employing some 80 percent of the work force. And it may be the key to the future success of the country and its people.
Today, Monsanto’s president, chairman and CEO Hugh Grant is announcing a ten-year, $50 million commitment to in several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and will seek broad partnerships with governments, other private sector companies and civil society to grow the agricultural sector. This commitment is in support of the New Vision for Agriculture Initiative, the Grow Africa Partnership and the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition to support sustained Sub-Saharan Africa agricultural development and growth.
Part of Monsanto’s commitment will go to its continued support of Tanzanian President Kikwete’s Kilimo Kwanza (Agriculture First) initiative. This effort is aimed at developing a vibrant agricultural sector to benefit farmers in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania – improving food security and nutrition, reducing rural poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability.
The announcement is being made as part of a full-day symposium, Advancing Food and Nutrition Security at the 2012 G8 Summit, hosted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
Partnering with the Tanzanian government, Monsanto will take a holistic approach, making commitments to key investments and partnerships supporting Tanzania’s agricultural priorities and spanning the maize and vegetable agricultural value chains. Plans include:
• Improved access to financial services through a partnership with Opportunity International, announced May 16;
• Ongoing work with Tanzanian scientists through the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project to introduce new maize hybrids suitable for Tanzania and available royalty free to seed companies;
• Support of a new depot in the agricultural corridor and strengthening of agrodealer networks to provide more choice to farmers;
• A partnership with the Earth Institute of Columbia University focused on soil health to encourage best management practices;
• Creation of opportunities to provide farmers with improved access to markets.
• Partnering with additional organizations on the ground in Tanzania, including Farm Input Promotion Services on farmer education programs and Muunganisho Ujasiriamali Vijijini (Connecting Village Entrepreneurs) on the formation of farmer cooperatives to enable farmers to collectively negotiate and market their harvest.
For more than 40 years, Monsanto has been committed to agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative announced today underscores that commitment and the company’s longstanding effort to support the communities in which it operates.
Population: 43.6 million
Location: Eastern Africa, with Kenya and Uganda on the north and Mozambique and Zambia on the south; bordered on the east by the Indian Ocean.
Capital: Dar es Salaam
Nationhood: 1964, with the merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar
Languages spoken: Kiswahili (Swahili), English, Arabic
Importance of agriculture: Employs 80 percent of the work force, accounts for 85 percent of exports and 25 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Source: CIA World Factbook