SAGCOT is a partnership of farmers, agri-business, the Government of Tanzania, and development agencies, all working to develop the agricultural potential of the middle of this East African country, where nearly 50 million people now live. The ultimate aim is to reduce hunger and increase rural incomes.
Monsanto announced its commitment to work with local partners to help improve the maize and vegetable value chains in the region. Through partnerships with organizations such as the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Agricultural Market Development Trust (AGMARK), Farm Input Promotion Services (FIPS), Creating Rural Entrepreneurs (MUVI) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Monsanto focuses resources and efforts on supporting the region’s smallholder farmers. The goal of Monsanto’s investment is to double crop yields and income of 250,000 farmers in the corridor. Some of the initial work from this partnership includes:
- Training the region’s agro-dealers – entrepreneurs who sell agricultural products and are in a position to help educate farmers.
- Training agriculture extension workers to enhance soil health.
- Helping tomato farmers buy inputs like seeds and fertilizer collectively, and market their products the same way.
- Expanding access to affordable financial services that will enable farmers to generate more income for their families and their communities.
The intent of these collaborations is to help raise productivity and food quality, reduce waste through better storage, and support initiatives that increase economic opportunity for farmers in Tanzania.
Standing behind these efforts is a $50 million commitment that Monsanto announced in 2012 to support sustained agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next 10 years. To date, more than 80,000 smallholder farmers have been reached by Monsanto partnerships through farmer training days, distribution of improved seeds and fertilizer, and support from village co-ops and agro-dealer networks.