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.