Partnerships to spearhead friendly business climate for the sustainable seed-sub sector
Historically, the seed sector in Tanzania was publicly dominated. In the late eighties, the seed system began to shift towards privatization, resulting in the introduction of a number of laws and regulations to regulate the seed subsector. In the last decade, a number of seed actors has emerged and deals with both local and export of seeds trade has grown. The different groups attracted different needs in enabling a favorable environment for a sustainable seed sector.
Annual Seed Stakeholders Meeting
On 13th July 2022, Tanzania Seed Trade Association (TASTA) organized an annual Seed Stakeholders Meeting at Mount Meru hotel in Arusha. More than 21 companies active in the seed sector, public seed companies, the government regulatory agencies, farmers, and development partners convened. The participants discussed effective partnerships with the Government in a bid to enhance the policy and regulatory environment for the seed subsector.
The event was supported by SAGCOT Center Ltd with funding support from Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). This meeting was chaired by Mr. Geoffrey Kirenga, CEO of SAGCOT Centre, and moderated by Mr. Patrick Ngwediagi, Managing Director of the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI).
During the stakeholders meeting, participants used the platform to share sector challenges which included the following;
- removal of crop cess for seed producers,
- removal of VAT on seed,
- enforcement of regulation on payment of royalty fee to breeders,
- fast tracking, refunds and cash reimbursement to Agro dealers on seed subsidies programs.
The actors further recommended the establishment of strategic seed reserve, setting land for seed multiplication, conducting a seed demand-supply gap study, application of good agronomist practices and formation of National seed strategic plan. Coordination efforts from all actors is vital for the growth of the seed subsector. Unlocking a number of constraints facing the seed subsector requires attention of various actors.
The Netherlands is number one in seed for food and nutrition security. With the presence of multinational seed companies in Tanzania, the Dutch are keen to share their expertise, technologies and create seed market linkages with Tanzania. Together with strategic partners such as TASTA, the Agricultural department of the Embassy is actively supporting the development of the seed sector through dialogues.
Role of TASTA
TASTA as a sector association and is mandated to facilitate private sector seed trade.
The association is instrumental in leading the private sector through lobbying and undertaking consultations with the public sector. This will cater for a more competitive and vibrant seed sector. As a member of the National Seed Committee, and working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture on the various seed policy issues, the association is in the best position to work closely with the public sector in addressing regulatory issues that hinder a conducive business environment. But unlocking constraints facing the seed subsector requires the attention of various actors. TASTA was requested to spearhead the discussions with the public institutes and give feedback to the industry.
Launching of TASTA five years (2022-2026) strategic plan
‘’Seeds are the primary basis of the food and agriculture supply chain system. Smooth seed trade and the accessibility of quality seed for farmers are crucial to sustain the region’s food and nutrition security and economic prosperity." - Hon. Makongoro Nyerere
During the annual stakeholders meeting, TASTA launched its long-awaited 5 years strategic plan 2022-2026 and introduced the TASTA website and social media channels as official communication tools. In the coming 5 years, TASTA will focus on Governance, institutional capacity building, advocacy, membership services and resource mobilization for sustainability.
The occasion that was graced by Hon. Makongoro Julius Kambarage Nyerere (Manyara Regional Commissioner) as a guest of honor on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture. Speaking during the launching, the guest of honor reiterated the need to modernize Tanzania agriculture by embracing the use of quality improved seeds. He encouraged the stakeholders to implement the strategic plan. Championing the kick-start, he welcomed seed companies to invest in Manyara and promised to facilitate land access for seed multiplication in the region.
“Efforts to improve and strengthen seed systems by various stakeholders remain highly uncoordinated. Presence of sector actors such as TASTA will help to bridge this gap by providing a suitable platform for informed dialogues and evidence-based decision-making.” - Geoffrey Kirenga CEO SAGCOT Center Ltd
For successful implementation, it is evident that TASTA will require support of stakeholders to realize the strategic objectives identified in its strategic plan.
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