Accountability and public oversight institutions
Various oversight institutions continue to play greater role to monitor the government’s commitment on rule of law and enhanced public integrity. At the local level, the councilors continue to supervise the councils in delivering their commitment. The three parliamentary watchdog committees (public finances, local government accounts and parastatal organizations) and parliament in general continue to exert pressure on the government to deliver.
Maputo Declaration and sector commitments
It is the 10th anniversary since Tanzanian government committed itself to the Maputo declaration in 2003. While some countries have attained that, Tanzania remains at 6.9% of the national budget allocated to agricultural sector. The sector’s annual growth average is 4%. While the 10% budget must be attained, there are concerns on the level and nature of spending.
With strong emphasis on better and strategic sector allocations, there is a strong urge to increase the sector budget to 10%, while taking into consideration the inflation rate. For example, according to ANSAF’s research in 2011, the discrepancy between real and nominal budget (taking 2001 as base year) has increased from 34.8% in 2008/09 to the current 41.1% in 2011/12! It is obvious that if inflation is not considered and factored in budget it might affect the level of outcomes. In fact the budget remains relatively low, low level of investment manifested in low productivity and support to inputs, infrastructure improvement.
Caption: Allocation trends to agricultural sector from 2003-2012 (ANSAF policy brief) (Link policy brief)
Tanzania Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plan (TAFSIP)
Tanzania is a signatory to the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP) framework and principles that is translated into Tanzania Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plan (TAFSIP). The latter focuses on investment in agriculture, transformation of the agriculture sector into a modern, commercial, highly productive, sustainable and profitable entity; and shift towards the value chain approach. These policies focus on increased production and productivity; food and nutritional security; rural commercialization; and enhanced institutional capacity to deliver.
The participation of private sector institutions in agriculture remains relatively low, except in some few cash crops (sisal, tea and sugar cane). With increased entrepreneurial skills among local people, there is importance of linking producers to market and service providers through a value-chain approach and ensure sector stakeholder coordination. Eventually coordination of stakeholders’ effort will promptly promote transparency and shared responsibilities among value chain actors. This will translate into a conducive business environment for local and foreign companies and other actors including agricultural lending institutions.
To influence dialogue stakeholders need space, and a few civil society organizations are engaged in policy dialogue. Moreover, although the structures at local level give opportunities for people to engage, making concerns heard (and acted upon) remains a challenge. One of the contributing factors to that is limited ability to articulate concerns to the elite by smallholders. Societal pressures make the challenge even greater for women smallholders… As a consequence there are limited opportunities for engagement at the local (village and district) and national levels. This results in the rural poor who are heavily involved in production are not active in decision making, in essence policies and directives in these fields are often imposed on them.