Feed the Future Press Tour in Tanzania Marks Global Economic Statecraft Day

July 19, 2012
Megan Johnson/USAID Veronic Urio is interviewed about her rice farm. To her left is Uwawakuda Leader George Iranga.

On June 14, in Morogoro, Tanzania, representatives from the U.S Department of State and USAID marked the first annual Global Economic Statecraft Day, which was launched by Secretary Clinton to highlight America’s commitment to global economic prosperity and cooperation as a pillar of its foreign policy. U.S. diplomats in Morogoro gathered for a joint press tour of Feed the Future activities that demonstrate investments in Tanzanian agriculture.

The press tour began at the Dakawa Irrigation Scheme, which supports over 2,000 smallholder rice farmers and their families. Feed the Future is collaborating with the Uwawakuda Water Users’ Association, which has a membership of 954 smallholder farmers, to rehabilitate the Dakawa pump station and improve irrigation in the area. Feed the Future is also assisting farmers in Dakawa to adapt new technologies that utilize best agronomic practices. Press corps participants on the tour viewed a demonstration plot on rice growing that is supported by Feed the Future, and which showcases new technologies and strategies for rice production.

The press corps heard from Veronica Urio, a Tanzanian smallholder farmer who received a grant for $2,000 from Feed the Future and was trained to use new planting techniques to improve her rice yield. On a tour of her farm, Veronica spoke to the group about how assistance from Feed the Future has advanced her production and benefitted both her and her family.

Feed the Future in Tanzania is transforming rice production in many parts of the country and throughout the value chain, from farm to market. Morogoro, a region with fertile land and abundant water resources, has the potential to become a major rice hub for domestic and international markets.

Speaking at the press event, Tabari Dossett of the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam said, “Whether improving roads conditions or implementing more efficient milling operations, Feed the Future gives small-scale farmers options that enable them to participate in the market as they choose.”