WFP Tanzania and the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) have signed an agreement that will provide Tanzanian maize for WFP programmes throughout the region. It will also help small-scale farmers secure a more dependable and fairer market for their crops. The agreement means that farmers participating in WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative can engage in forward delivery contracts with both agencies.
The signing, which took place in Dodoma, was done in the presence of Tanzanian Minister for Agriculture, Food Security, and Cooperatives, Christopher Chiza, and Permanent Secretary Mohamed S. Muya.
“This is a moment to reflect on the potential and strategic position Tanzania as a country has as a food basket and market to its neighbouring countries”, said Permanent Secretary Muya. “The potential is immense and we cannot lose the moment”.
He named WFP as a strategic partner in assuring a reliable market for grain produced in Tanzania, contributing to improved income and livelihoods for Tanzanian farmers.
By procuring food locally, WFP is enabling the participation of Tanzanian farmers in the maize value chain. Through the provision of access to agricultural markets, P4P encourages farmers to do business rather than exist on subsistence farming. In this way, farmers also receive training on forming marketing structures, managing crop quality, and aggregating crops at community level.
“This marks a significant shift in Tanzania’s role as a regional grain trader,” said WFP Country Director Richard Ragan. “Not only is the agreement good for the overall economy, it's good for the small farmers who make up 75 per cent of Tanzania’s workforce.”
The accord formalizes the current purchasing arrangement which has, to date, included sales of 90,000 metric tons of maize by NFRA to WFP. It is expected that up to 200,000 mt of grain a year could be made available to WFP Tanzania for 2012 and 2013 operations throughout Africa, including emergency relief operations in South Sudan, Kenya, and Somalia. The food purchases will support the 8 million plus people being assisted by WFP in the region.