The SERA project made substantial progress during the quarter on all of its primary focus areas; Policy Research and Reform; Individual and Institutional Capacity Building; and Advocacy, Communications and Alliances. Within the Policy and Research Reform Areas, the primary policy research activity was to propose a program of research to support better understanding of food security needs in Tanzania and explore policy alternatives to the use of export bans. The proposed program of work was strongly endorsed by the government and suitable partner institutions were identified to conduct research with guidance from SERA. The development of the collateral registry system which will make it easier for lending institutions to secure financial transactions and borrowers to obtain credit on moveable assets was restarted with support of the Bank of Tanzania. The Cereals and Other Product Act of 2009 was analysed and the implications described in a briefing note prepared for the ANSAF Policy Working Group and widely disseminated. Efforts to support reforms of seed policy continued and discussions with TASTA, the private sector industry association, were undertaken. Policy discussions were begun with the GoT in Zanzibar and initial efforts will focus on food security and agricultural policies. SERA’s effort to build local capacity to conduct policy research was supported by agreement to sponsor an agricultural policy seminar series in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Sokoine University to be jointly funded with iAGRI. A communications officer was added in December following an extensive search for the best candidate with the assistance of a communications expert from Booz Allen headquarters. A capacity building specialist was identified and hired to begin in January. Close collaboration with other partners and stakeholders was maintained and resources were leveraged by working with other FtF implementing partners, IFPRI, and USDA. An active policy dialogue was maintained and leadership provided to policy activities among the FtF Implementing Partners. Alliances with important stakeholders continued to be developed to build a network of capable institutions and organizations to advocate for policy change.
April 30, 2018