THE Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) Green Reference Group in consultation with the government and private sector companies have published an Inclusive Green Growth (IGG) guiding tool to ensure agro-investments under SAGCOT partnership are socially inclusive and environmentally friendly.
The targeted audience for this tool includes small, medium and large-scale processors and producers.
Speaking after launching the toolkit, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Vice-President’s Office, Amb. Joseph Sokoine said the IGG toolkit aims to integrate economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusiveness in executing commercial enterprises and it is the central operating principle of investments in the SAGCOT region.
Sokoine said the Green Reference Group is comprised of technical partners who participated to develop the IGG guiding tool including; The Nature Conservancy (TNC), World Wide Fund (WWF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and CARE International with guidance of the Vice-Presidents’ Office and consultation with the private sector companies working in the SAGCOT region.
The IGG aims to guide investments on four main areas namely: Social inclusivity that include equal rights on economic gain; environmental management that describes judicial use of natural resources; sustainable business strategies; And developmental requirements where non-legal issues are considered.
The IGG allows investors in agri-business to conduct self-assessments using a checklist which forms part of the IGG guiding tool and establish their own compliance report.
Commenting on the launch of the toolkit, the Chief Executive Officer of the SAGCOT Centre, Geoffrey Kirenga said among various initiatives established in the agricultural sector, the SAGCOT initiative is unique due to its approach of bringing together stakeholders from the government, private sector agribusiness companies, civil society organisations, financial institutions, farmers’ associations, development partners and academia to develop a strong and focused partnership towards transformation of sustainable value chain development in southern highlands of Tanzania.
He reiterated that for the SAGCOT partnership to successfully achieve food and nutrition security, economic growth and ensure management of natural resources in the SAGCOT region, SCL and its partners developed three working principles to ensure sustainable investments namely principles of inclusivity, environmental management and sustainable business strategy.
“We promote responsible investment that is done in a sustainable way but also contributing to food security and making sure that the communities especially the smallholder farmers and the livestock keepers as well the fishermen are included in the agricultural development. The SAGCOT Blueprint advocates environmental sustainability and we call it inclusive green growth. To effectively implement this, we needed to have a tool that would help us to measure compliance to environmental legislations and international good practices. This tool also aims to provide opportunities to the youth, women and disadvantaged people or groups.”
Kirenga said preparation of IGG was championed by multiple partners of the SAGCOT Centre Ltd and other stakeholders in agricultural sector including TNC in collaboration with Sokoine University of Agriculture which implemented a two years’ research project named Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) from which the idea of developing IGG guiding tool was incubated while WWF Tanzania, CARE International and IUCN have invested immense financial and human resource from drafting stage to validation of the IGG guiding tool.