You are here

Concern CEO meets Tanzanian ministers

Tom Arnold, Concern Worldwide’s CEO, recently visited the Tanzanian prime minister Mizengo Pinda and Stephen Wassira, Minister for Agriculture

.

Tom urged the ministers to reform the agriculture sector in Tanzania. This would help the country benefit from the high number of households involved in crop production. Around 80% of rural Tanzanians – an estimated 41 million people – rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Assisting farmers

Poor rains, climate change and the global financial crisis are affecting many people working in agriculture.

Concern is asking the government to assist farmers by including them in decisions and policies that affect them. Concern’s Ezekiel Kiagho says agriculture should be the key area of focus if the Tanzanian government is to empower its people and lift them out of poverty. 

Land rights

Gaining land rights is a long process that villages aren’t able to manage without support from organisations like Concern. When farmers have access to their rights, they are given the confidence to invest in their land and the ability to take out small loans.

Concern is currently working with local partner organisations to realise poor farmers’ rights to land ownership. We are also working to train them in improved farming technologies and assist the local government in providing services to rural villages.

Focusing on agriculture

The ministers assured Tom that agriculture is a priority for the Tanzanian government. They said there will be increased focus to help poor farmers in the near future. This stance was confirmed by the latest budget, which focuses on agriculture as a priority sector.