28 October 2009, Rome - FAO is to provide the United Republic of Tanzania with advisory support for farmers that will help them better respond to market opportunities and thus heighten food security.
Tanzania's farmers - for the most part traditional smallholders - will get technical assistance in farm management and marketing and will be encouraged to join producers' groups.
The project, which is conceived to help the country's agricultural sector move from subsistence to commercial farming, will cost $2.8 million and is to be funded by Germany.
Farmers will be trained in business management and marketing. The programme will result in better extension services capable of giving small farmers a market orientation.
If greater emphasis is given to good practices in both production and marketing, FAO said, decision-makers at all levels in Tanzania will be in a better position to ensure that wherever possible agricultural production will respond to the demands of consumers and not just to that of the individual household.
Training materials will be distributed and coaching and monitoring will also be part of the package designed to help smallholders grow beyond the subsistence level.
The German funded FAO project should provide the quality advisory services that can help smallholders improve agriculture productivity, marketing methods and, ultimately, income. A major effort will be made to set up farmer learning groups and, at a later stage, to increase contacts among farmers, and between farmers, banks and market outlets.