Agricultural Counselor Ingrid Korving is saying Kwaheri to Tanzania
Times flies! After 5 years of working in Tanzania with Ingrid Korving, it is time to say goodbye to her. The agricultural counsellor for Kenya and Tanzania at the Netherlands Embassy will take her next position as the agricultural counsellor for Vietnam and has left Tanzania in mid-June. In this interview we asked her to share her experiences of working and living in Tanzania.
How would you describe your work and activities of the last years?
When I look back on my work and activities, the first thing that comes in my mind is working closely together with my agricultural teams in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. There is a saying in Africa: “If you want to go fast go alone if you want to go far go together” and I could not agree more.
Because of the cooperation, commitment, and hard work of my teams I can look back at many projects, programs, events and also successes. As an agricultural counsellor, I could not have done it without my teams and I really want to thank them for all their support. It has also been easier with the cooperation and support I received from stakeholders both from the private sector and from the public sector. The wheel of agriculture moves with easy when all the stakeholders along the agricultural value chain align on a common goal, therefore for the past five years we had impact clusters and the agricultural working groups geared to develop sustainable solutions in the poultry, horticulture, aquaculture and potato value chains.
LEFT: Planting macadamia tree in memory of visit to the World Vegetable Centre Nov. 2021
RIGHT: Visit to FETA, Bagamoyo with the Flying swans delegation to explore agrologists opportunities
What do you consider to be highlights in your work?
There are many highlights in my job, from meeting enthusiastic entrepreneurs with great ideas to brokering between Tanzania and Dutch companies or to solve market access problems between our two countries. The nice thing about being an agricultural counsellor is that you are working in all the dimensions of the agriculture sector and with private and public stakeholders. It is a very dynamic job.
I think one of the highlights is the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Netherlands and Tanzania on strengthening poultry and aquaculture sectors. The MoU paved a way for establishment of the aquaculture working group, aquaculture impact cluster and the poultry impact cluster. The two formed the basis of cooperation on provision of knowledge and exchange between the two countries. Various Dutch companies are working with local counterparts on demonstrating sustainable aquaculture and poultry. This in turn stimulates agricultural investments and trade between Tanzania and the Netherlands.
Another highlight is definitely our efforts on providing more options to farmers through availability of quality potato seeds considering the potato harvest in Tanzania is five times lower per hectare than the yields in the Netherlands. We worked together with Tanzania government to establish a knowledge center on potato in Southern highlands which regretfully was later closed. Under G2G project we worked together with the Government to strengthen sanitary and phytosanitary protocols for a newly formed Tanzania Plant Health and Pesticide Authority ( TAPHPA). Already the impact of availability of quality potato seed is being felt with the farmers example the Isowelo Amcos in Njombe
Also I tried, together with my team, to make the agricultural department of the Netherlands Embassy in Dar es salaam more visible, approachable and informative. We started with our agricultural newsletters, publishing articles, but also organizing more meetings and events on specific themes topics. A recent example is the launching of the study on alternative sources of protein for animal feed which will provide a cross cutting solutions for animal feed and also on circular agriculture.
What did you learn in Tanzania?
Although I worked in Africa for many years, living in Tanzania gave me some new insides also about myself. Being patient for example was not coming very natural to me, during my time in Tanzania I started to embrace it and also the fact that some things will not always go as you planned. I learned in Tanzania to go with the flow and find solutions on the way. That also means that you need to think out of the box and let go of some of the fixed structures or ways of working.
Of course the team will miss Ingrid immensely as well. We would like to thank her for all her dedicated effort to her work, the team and the Embassy. The new agricultural counsellor, Mr. Bart Pauwels will arrive mid-July. In the meantime the team will be happy to be of assistance in any way we can.
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