2013-one-africa-award-is-ansaf-of-tanzania

ANSAF’s vision is a society free of poverty where sound agricultural policies and best practices contribute to the transformation of the country’s economy.

It is a member-led network, made up of experts from the commercial sector, NGOs and farmers’ umbrella organisations in Tanzania. It provides a forum to discuss solutions to improve the country’s agriculture sector for men and women currently living in poverty. With a focus on smallholder farmers, promotes accountability, transparency and citizen engagement in agriculture.

ANSAF is made up of over 50 members—farmers associations, CSOs, agribusinesses and more – working together to advance a strong policy agenda to grow Tanzania’s agriculture sector. It is leading the charge for Tanzania to spend 10% of its national budget on agriculture and rural development. And while the actual amount allocated and spent is important, ANSAF soundly argues that this money must be spent in pursuit of policies that are farmer-centric.

ANSAF run a series of activities which target the media at different levels to shape the view of and promote work in agriculture. Working with a local youth organisation (Femina Hip), they broadcast on local radio, attempting to change the perception of farming from ‘poor’ to ‘entrepreneur’.

ANSAF also researches and uncovers agriculture-related stories for a monthly supplement called “Kilimo Kwanza” for Tanzania’s Guardian newspaper (deliberately playing on the government’s Kilimo Kwanza or “Ag First” initiative). It also aims to stimulate excellence in journalism with an award for agriculture reporting.

Another aspect of their work is around development of markets and value chains for smallholder farmers. ANSAF not only wants to ensure the right policies are in place for farmers, but that they also are able to market and sell their produce at a fair price. They have focussed on cashew nuts to improve farmers’ livelihoods and show how they could benefit Tanzania’s macro economy, and hope to use this as a case study to benefit other products such as cotton, rice and coffee in the future.

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About Graduate Farmers

TGFA is a civil society organization whose membership base constitute highly learned, capable, experienced and aspirants of becoming commercial farmers in Tanzania. Membership also comprises agricultural consultants (researchers) and retired people from the civil service sectors who deal with agriculture and agriculture marketing in general. The major aim of TGFA is to develop, promote, and influence structured business and initiatives that encourages and motivate youth especially graduates to tap in profitable agriculture value chains in both rural and urban areas in Tanzania with defined rules and regulations. TGFA also aimed at bringing dialogues for advocating improvement of the policy and enabling business environment in the country economy, strengthen information dissemination, technology and innovation, agribusiness development skills, business linkages and reduce constraints along the sector value chain. The word ‘graduate’, as it appears on the title, does not strictly mean that one has to have university degree, rather a catch word that connotes a paradigm shift in thinking, especially in the developing countries, that farming is largely for the unprivileged, most less educated and poor people in rural areas towards a new thinking that farming can only be meaningful and actual backbone of the economy if and only if the highly learned, capable (in terms of finances and other resources) and inspired individuals in urban areas embark into it even as part-timers.
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