Dar es Salaam: At least Sh1.2 billion ($863,000) is needed for preparation of the investment blueprint of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Sagcot). Funds for the preparation of the draft will be contributed through collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors.
The National Microfinance Bank (NMB) was yesterday the first local private sector company to support the initiative after donating Sh30 million.
Mr Penieli Lyimo, the permanent secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, said yesterday in Dar es Salaam resources has been mobilised from eight international companies and development partners.
Sagcot aims at mobilising the tremendous agricultural potential of southern Tanzania through promotion of new investment in commercial agriculture and supporting infrastructure.
Mr Lyimo added that a technical team made up of local and international consultants had been formed and was already preparing the blueprint. The document will be presented to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, early next, year by President Jakaya Kikwete.
NMB’s chief executive officer Ben Christiaanse said the bank considered itself as well positioned to support agriculture.'We don’t see why such efforts to revamp agriculture should be left to donors and the government alone,' he said.
Among the team’s tasks are to identify high potential agricultural areas where public and private sector investments could be developed in three or four clusters. 'Each cluster will be a hub for improved technical, financial, agro-processing and input and output marketing services,' said Mr Lyimo.
The concept note for the programme was presented by President Jakaya Kikwete to the World Economic Forum in Dar es Salaam earlier this year, and was accepted as an initial focus for implementing the Kilimo Kwanza initiative.
The Southern Corridor is an area comprising regions with high agricultural potential. The area links the country to neighbouring Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi.