AGRICULTURE stakeholders, livestock keepers and fishers in Ihemi Cluster representing Iringa and Njombe regions have outlined various benefits they have made thanks to Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) sponsors.
They outlined the benefits during a recent tour by Sagcot including the government, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, USAID, UK AID and AGRA to the cluster to witness achievements made by the stakeholders and the contribution they have made in the growth, development and modernisation of the sectors.
Speaking shortly after the tour, beneficiaries from Asas Dairies Ltd, GBRI Business Solutions (T) Ltd and Tamu Tamu Tanzania have extended their appreciation on the way Sagcot has supported their projects and contributed in the growth of the sectors in the area leading to improved standards of living and the growth of the national income.
The Tamu Tamu Tanzania Extension Officer, Mr Gibson Kalyetekela said his company started working with Sagcot in 2019 and has since achieved a lot in terms of growth and managed to reach out to over 10,000 farmers and supply them with seedlings of apple trees produced by the company together with the provision of education to farmers on the cultivation of the precious fruits.
“Through Sagcot we have been able to reach out to 10,000 farmers who have purchased apple tree seedlings from us and we have also sensitised them on the importance of measuring soil health and ways of rectifying deficiencies if any for better produce,” he said.
He told the visitors that the company has the plan to expand its span and reach out to 30,000 farmers this year, provide them with extension services and supply quality seedlings in a bid to increase their agricultural output and speed up economic growth.
On his part, the Director of Asas Dairies, Mr Faud Abri said Sagcot has stood as a firm link between farmers, pastoralists, extension service providers, farm inputs and markets which is key in supporting the growth of sectors in the cluster.
“Sagcot has enabled us to reach out to farmers in Iringa, Njombe and Mbeya regions thus leading to the assurance of the factory receiving adequate raw materials for the dairy products and at the same time giving pastoralists the guarantee of market availability for their produce,” he said.
The General Director of GBRI Business Solutions Ltd, Ms Hadija Jabir who deals with vegetables and fruits farming in Iringa Region acknowledged the visitors for the call, thanking Sagcot for being such a vital pillar in connecting her company to both local and international markets.
“Through Sagcot I have been able to work with over 5,000 vegetable and fruit farmers and over 840 vendors in Iringa and Dar es Salaam regions, this is crucial because in the process farmers and vendors have boosted their income and raised their standards of living,” she said.
Ms Jabir said Sagcot has also connected her company with financiers, bankers, development partners as well as capacity building in modern farming, processing and value addition.
Sagcot is sponsored by the government of Tanzania, United Kingdom aid organisations (FCDO and UK AID), American Government through USAID, AGRA and the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Other organisations that previously supported Sagcot include UNDP and World Bank.