Currently, production costs for rice in Tanzania are high, but profit margins are low. Large-scale agricultural investments are important for driving technology adoption and improving markets, but these investments are few and scattered.
Feed the Future has begun working closely with the Tanzanian Rice Partnership, established under the auspices of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), to link smallholder farmers with major rice vendors and markets. SAGCOT is an agricultural public-private partnership designed to improve agricultural productivity, food security, and livelihoods in Tanzania. Over the past year, Feed the Future and the Tanzanian Rice Partnership have been strengthening Tanzania's rice value chain, from farm to market, through interventions that help farmers organize themselves into associations, introduce new production and post-harvest technologies, facilitate farmer access to credit, and establish market linkages.
An example of these activities is Feed the Future’s partnership with Kilombero Plantations Ltd, a company comprised largely of U.S. investors that aims to increase Tanzanian crops while building commercial sustainability. Kilombero plans to build the capacity of 5,000 smallholder farmers and increase their incomes twelve-fold. Through Kilombero, international agro-supply companies Yara and Syngenta (both SAGCOT partners) have recruited staff to train smallholders on correct and safe application of fertilizers and agro-chemicals.
Yara is also looking into direct alignment with the Tanzanian Rice Partnership and Feed the Future to strengthen its fertilizer distribution network, contribute to smallholder development, and create demand for new products developed to match the specific nutrient deficits in Tanzanian soils.