Efficacy of transforming agriculture for survival to commercial agriculture through 'Kilimo kwanza' initiative in Tanzania

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Natural Resources and Conservation


Kilimo Kwanza which means “Agriculture First” in English, is an initiative launched by the Tanzanian government in 2006 to spearhead the transformation of subsistence to commercial agriculture for curbing poverty. The initiative aimed at solving constrains facing farmers (small, medium and/or large scale). Its implementation is based on ten milestones some of them are the provision of credit to farmers through Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank, good governance, establishment of infrastructure, coordination and evaluation of the milestones. Through “Kilimo Kwanza” for farming credits, the government has pledged 500 million USD to TADB in 2015, though the deal has not made yet. Compared to other initiatives, the special aspect that “Kilimo Kwanza” possesses is that; it is people centered. It works under the patronage of Tanzania National Business Council which involves both private and public dialogue on strategic issues for economic development. Despite of all these efforts and instruments of “Kilimo Kwanza”, Tanzanian agriculture has remained the main employer of Tanzanian labour force (70%), account 24% of the GDP, 30% of export and 65% of raw materials for domestic industry. However, this contribution is insufficient compared to the vision of the initiative. To address the constraints facing Tanzanian agriculture, there is a need to think more widely aiming at arresting all barriers with a clear and committed political will. Among others: motivation/incentives to farmers, extension services, equipping good infrastructures ranging from irrigation, transport and storage facilities. Then, the flow of farm inputs from local government authorities to small and medium scale farmers is a governance issue. The people responsible for the flow of these inputs are not playing their roles despite of the clear directives from the government. Similarly, policies, plans and programmes are well stipulated but, implementation to reach intended outcomes needs further efforts.


Natural Resources and Conservation 4(4): 43-50,


Farmers, Commercial agriculture, Kilimo kwanza, Poverty reduction