Transforming agri in Tanzania: How innovative contract farming initiative is uplifting farmers

AMID Tanzania’s renowned natural beauty and rich biodiversity, the agriculture sector’s rise is finally on the horizon. Arable land in Tanzania is approximated to be around 13,502,500 hectares by 2020 according to the World Bank collection.

With the correct infrastructure in place, the fortunes of many farmers and the sector can change and contribute to more than the current 27 per cent of the National GDP.

A distinct form of change is unfolding as smallholder farmers are optimistic about the ongoing reshaping of agriculture. At the heart of it- is the Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) championing the charge to redefine the agricultural sector through its inventive agri-business endeavours.

On the occasion of Nanenane Day, a notable event commemorating the nation’s diligent farmers, the commendation for SBL’s contract farming approach resounds prominently.

Hailing from the scenic Kilimanjaro area, Bora Masaki, a small-scale farmer lauds the prominent brewery for enabling community farmers to serve as providers of good raw materials.

Through its forward-thinking strategy, SBL has not just changed the fortunes of individuals like Masaki, but has also reshaped the entire agricultural terrain.

“We were rescued by SBL and their groundbreaking approach to contract farming,” Masaki stated with a sense of pride.

“They thoroughly evaluated the excellence of our barley and acknowledged its promise. Ever since, SBL has stood by our side as a dependable collaborator, offering a steady marketplace for our agricultural yield.” The era of grappling with unstable markets and insufficient rates is a thing of the past. With SBL’s engagement, farmers now experience consistent payments and the assurance to seek financial assistance from institutions to reinvest in their agricultural ventures.

This represents an active agricultural transformation, driven by the steadfast backing of SBL. Hailing from Kilimanjaro, Thomas Venance stands as living proof of the profound impact of SBL’s contract farming approach. Over a span of merely seven years partnering with the brewery, Venance has expanded his farming land from a humble 50 acres to a remarkable 100 acres per growing season.

The horizon holds even more potential, as SBL equips the farmers with superior seeds for the current season, projecting a 20 per cent surge in the upcoming harvest output. Constansia Mghamba, a determined mother of four and wife from Moshi, has also enjoyed the advantages of SBL’s contract farming strategy.

This revolutionary programme offers farmers like Ms Mghamba essential agricultural resources such as premium seeds, fertilisers, expert guidance and training, all without any cost. Going beyond, SBL has taken the initiative to build wells that facilitate irrigation, assuring a reliable water supply for the farmers.

By ensuring a market for their crops, SBL has emerged as a reliable partner, empowering farmers to establish a stable and prosperous future. The path has been marked by its own set of challenges.

The farmers who joined forces with SBL comprehend the obstacles they encounter, and they have gained resilience in the face of difficulties. Mwinyi Makame, a dedicated farmer from Manyara, expressed deep appreciation for the priceless insights gained during this collaborative journey.

“Collaborating with SBL has been an exceptional voyage marked by determination, steadfastness, and tenacity,” Mwinyi contemplated. “Each planting season introduces us to distinctive challenges, yet with SBL’s resolute backing, we have acquired the ability to traverse this domain with renewed assurance.

Through extensive training sessions and workshops, we have embraced eco-friendly methods, like opting for well-based irrigation instead of depleting our vital water reserves. While these teachings may be demanding, they are essential for the advancement of farming in the times ahead.” SBL’s contract farming approach seamlessly aligns with the government’s unyielding initiatives to guarantee farmers’ access to thriving markets, equitable pricing, and the mitigation of post-harvest losses.

Contract farming has become an integral facet of Tanzania’s agricultural panorama, furnishing pragmatic remedies to a multitude of obstacles encountered by farmers.

Whether it pertains to ensuring the presence of crucial farming resources or simplifying entry to financial institutions to amplify output, SBL’s innovative model has paved the way toward enduring prosperity for rural societies. During the commemoration of Nanenane Day, the Tanzanian farming sector stands in solidarity to commend SBL’s revolutionary endeavours.

Through the establishment of prospects, the empowerment of farmers, and the cultivation of sustainable agricultural methodologies, SBL is laying the foundation for a more promising tomorrow for small-scale farmers in Tanzania.

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