The primary focus of the SERA Policy Project during the quarter was on institutional capacity building, continuing activities related to food security, preparing statement of works (SOWs) and selecting consultant teams for studies and activities to be undertaken in Q3, and providing support to development partners such as Gates Foundation and Tanzania Seed Traders Association (TASTA). Our institutional capacity building activities included completing a draft assessment of the Zanzibar Department of Food Security and Nutrition (ZDFSN) Program, and completing the Agriculture Council of Tanzania (ACT) Second Strategic Plan. Food security activities included a field trip to the northern border area with Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives (MAFC) and local government staff to assess the food security and trade situation following the lifting of the maize export ban, and a field trip to Mbeya and Musoma with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and MAFC to estimate the cost of a typical food basket. In addition, consultations were held with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on food price data, the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) on their social safety net activities, and the Zanzibar Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources on ongoing and planned SERA work activities. The Concept Note and Scope of Work for the Land Compensation and Benefits Sharing study for the Ministry of Lands was completed and the consulting firm Landesa was selected to undertake the study. Meetings were held with the Director of Coordination of Government Actions in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Director of Food Security in MAFC to discuss ongoing food security studies and to plan a workshop to disseminate findings in Q3. Communications and advocacy activities included video recording of meetings with traders and farmers during field trips and completion of the draft SERA website.
Going forward, the SERA Project will be very active in Q3 with a consulting team arriving in May to evaluate the capacity and activities of the National Food Reserve Agency, and a second consulting team arriving in June to begin the Land Compensation and Benefits Sharing study. Discussions are underway to engage an expert to prepare an impact study on the use of export and import permits. A report prepared by SERA staff on the impacts of zero‐duty on rice imports on the mainland will be completed and discussed at a subsequent stakeholders meeting. The initial draft of the rice market study for Zanzibar will be completed and presented to the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (RGoZ). Depending on stakeholder availability, a workshop on food security on the mainland is planned for Q3 or Q4 where we will present the food security work started in Q2 and scheduled for completion in Q3. Capacity building activities in Zanzibar will include the presentation of the Food Security and Nutrition Program Review and additional activities to support the development of an operational strategic plan. Communications and advocacy will continue to document the impact of the lifting of the export in Arusha and Kilimanjaro, and finalization of the SERA website.