Browsing: AfDB

The reason farmers are forced to buy seeds is that projects like AGRA take away traditional organic seeds by giving subsidized GMO seeds, which cannot be replanted hence after harvest, the farmers must buy new batches of seeds to replant the next season.

In effect, forcing the farmers to rely on new purchases of seeds every year means the peasants are unwittingly caught in a cycle of dependency and poverty, for that matter.

Worse still, projects like AGRA that claims to introduce ‘modern agriculture technologies’ focus on using chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides and also push for monoculture, which locks the farmers in the dependency cycle; they have to buy more fertilizers to keep their lands productive, and they have to buy the same pesticides because of monoculture.

It is for such reasons that last year, AFSA released an open letter with over 200 signatories alleging that AGRA did not increase the productivity or incomes of farmers nor did it reduce food insecurity.

A recent index report showed that Tanzania’s agro sector is mechanizing rapidly on the back drop of value addition mini-factories, the revolution is not unique to Tanzania, it is happening continent wide and North Africa is leading.

Evidence to this fact lies in the pages of the Africa Industrialization Index (AII) report that show more than 35 of Africa’s 52 countries have become more industrialized over the span of the last decade.

The multi-stakeholder report, prepared by the African Development Bank, the African Union and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), attests to an ongoing industrial revolution in Africa.

The Africa Industrialization Index (AII) uses 19 indicators to rate each country’s level of industrialization ranging from performance of its manufacturing sector, capital, labor to a country’s business environment, its infrastructure and even its entire macroeconomic status.

There is a shift, a change in the nature and composition of Tanzania’s workforce from labour-intensive to skilled labour. This shift is well received as the report authors describe it as ‘a good sign of economic transformation’ it is a sign Tanzania mechanisation.

The report authors contend that the fact that the proportion of labour employed in agriculture has decreased while that in other sectors, notably manufacturing and services, has increased, then it is a clear sign of an industrializing nation.

Agriculture mechanization in Tanzania is also evident in the fact that even though employment in the sector is decreasing, but the sector’s overall performance is actually increasing.

According to Tanzania’s Commissioner of Financial Sector Development, Dr Charles Mwamwaja, between 2015 and 2019, the agriculture sector grew at an average of 5.2 per cent, while the subsector of agricultural products continued growing at an average of 5.8 per cent.