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Tanzania bets on contract farming to boost cotton sector
Jan '13
In a bid to streamline the country’s cotton industry, Tanzanian Government has launched a program to introduce contract farming amongst cotton farmers and ginners in the country.
Implemented by Tanzania Gatsby Trust (TGT) with sponsorship from Gatsby Charitable Foundation UK, local private sector and international development consultants, the plan is expected to help more than 400,000 cotton farmers across the nation, a statement from TGT said.
The latest programme is part of key long-term programme to aid restructuring of the cotton and textile industries of Tanzania, introduced by the Gatsby Foundation in September 2007, after a dialogue with the Tanzanian Government.
In view of the challenges impeding the way of restructuring the country’s cotton industry, TGT said the programme would focus on securing support for policy analysis, educating the stakeholders and making ground for public private dialogue.
The programme also aims at supporting sustainable management of the industry in the long-term by empowering the leading state institutions like the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB), while helping the industry to boost its use of improved cotton seeds and assisting cotton growers to switch to tillage conservation agriculture, the statement said.
The programme is being executed by small management team forming a part of TCB, which functions from Mwanza and Dar-es-Salaam. 
Till now Gatsby Foundation has agreed to give around € 6 million to sponsor the programme and has also secured € 7 million from DFID over four years to back the ongoing expansion phase.
To effectively aid the TCB’s policy reform initiative, the programme looks at hiring communication specialists who would work to upgrade the programme’s strategic communication plan, the statement said.
The plan would focus on tackling the political risk in relation with the programme and TCB policy reform work. 
The statement said TGT expects the plan to be backed with sufficient statistical data, so as to ensure that it provides a clear view of the positive impact that the reforms have brought on farmers welfare and the cotton industry’s sustainability.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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