The Beyond Cotton project team and its counterparts in Brazil and Tanzania have recently taken an important step in the implementation of the initiative by discussing and validating the country’s project during an online workshop. The Project Document constitutes the main reference for the technical cooperation initiative, as it contains the mechanisms and arrangements necessary to carry out the activities and, in addition, it serves as a basis for strategic decision-making in relation to technical, managerial and project coordination in the country.
The next step will consist of Brazil and Tanzania signing the Beyond Cotton project document, so the activities can officially start in the field. That is expected to happen shortly. Meanwhile, project experts will carry out some activities on equipment procurement processes for cotton smallholder farmers and tax exemption for these imports. Joel Melliyo, Director of Research and Innovation from the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), spoke at the event. “This assures effective cooperation from TARI and the government of Tanzania on this project, and I give special gratitude appreciation to the Brazilian Government for supporting the cotton sector in Tanzania and all efforts from WFP Centre of Excellence Brazil and WFP Tanzania”, he said.
Beyond Cotton Project Tanzania falls within national priorities that are reflected in the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (2017/18 -2027/28) aiming to transform the sector towards higher productivity, commercialization level and increased smallholder farmer income for improved livelihood, food security and nutrition. Addressing productivity by improving market linkages – both for domestic and regional sales – is a priority for realizing productive potential and driving inclusive rural growth.
The initiative also addresses key constraints of the cotton sector: processing and value; family labor required in field management; pest and diseases management; soil fertility; and capacity building through training and demonstrations. This will be achieved through an implementation strategy consisting of breeding research improvement, labor saving technologies, value addition in cotton by-products, nutrition security, food crop diversification and commercialization.