The Tanzania SERA Policy Project (SERA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Feed the Future (FtF) Initiative is implemented by Booz Allen Hamilton. The SERA Project is focused on improving the policy environment for agriculture, and developing individual and institutional capacity to undertake policy analysis and advocate effectively for policy reforms. SERA began in April 2011, and completed the fourth full year of operation on September 30, 2015. This Quarterly Report, Quarter 1 (Q1) of Project Year 5 (Y5), covers the period from October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. SERA is scheduled to conclude in March 2016, and discussions are underway with USAID for a no‐cost extension.
Tanzania elected a new President in October 2015, and the preparation for the election and establishment of a new Government following the election have impacted SERA activities as the focus of Government was on the election. The Bank of Tanzania (BOT), for example, was not able to maintain momentum on establishing the collateral registry and little progress was made on that activity. However, the preparation for the new Government also created opportunities such as the preparation of a Policy Note for the new Government, led by SERA and jointly authored with the World Bank, and the appointment of new actors into critical leadership positions, including a new Minister and Permanent Secretary (PS) of Agriculture and the consolidation of the Ministry to include agriculture, livestock and fisheries under a single Ministry called the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. The new PS for Agriculture was previously the PS in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and worked closely with SERA while in the PMO. With the focus of Government on the election, SERA undertook activities that did not require direct interaction with Government officials, including a study tour to Zambia, completion of a survey of maize farmers, preparation for the Agricultural Policy Conference scheduled for February 2016, continued work on the food demand study, and continued support to the Zanzibar Department of Food Security and Nutrition (ZDFSN) to implement the Food Basket Methodology (FBM) to measure food basket costs.
The study tour to Zambia was very informative as it compared the agricultural business environment with Tanzania. The results are expected to be of great interest to the new Government which appears to be very focused on improving the business environment. The study tour, undertaken from November 15‐21, allowed a comparison of the corporate agricultural business environment between Tanzania and Zambia. The study team was led by the SERA Senior Advisor, Don Mitchell, and included Edith Lazaro (SERA), Daktari Hango from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives (MAFC), and Emmanuel Lyimo from Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). Two other participants (Martin Masalu from Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), and James Ngwira from the President’s Delivery Bureau (PDB)) were not allowed to travel by their management due to uncertainty about who was included in the new President’s ban on foreign travel by Government officials. These staff will participate in the study tour to Mozambique scheduled for January 2016. The trip report (Annex 1) provides the findings of the study tour.
The Maize Gender Study field work was completed in October 2015 by TNS East Africa Ltd and a preliminary report was received November 2015 (Annex 2). The study surveyed 300 men and 300 women maize farmers in Iringa and Ruvuma Regions. A prior companion study was undertaken by the World Bank/International Finance Corporation in July 2015 for the Mbeya and Rukwa regions using the same consultants, an almost identical questionnaire, and a similar sized survey of men and women maize farmers. The two surveys will be combined to obtain a survey of 1,200 farmers, equally divided among men and women farmers, to quantify the differences between men and women maize farmers. The results were expected to show that women maize farmers had access to fewer resources and had lower production, and would provide a basis for policy recommendations on how to narrow the gender gap—such as the recommendation to hire more female extension agents to focus on women maize farmers. The surveys data sets are being combined by TNS. The preliminary reports of both surveys confirm expectations and showed that women maize farmers are disadvantaged compared to men maize farmers in almost all areas. They have less education, smaller land holdings, use less inorganic fertilizers, less improved seeds, and have lower maize yields. Women maize farmers also receive about 70 percent of the maize prices received by men maize farmers when they market their maize. The findings are expected to be relevant to other sectors where women farmers may have similar characteristics compared to men farmers.
An Agricultural Policy Note for the new Government (Annex 3) was prepared by SERA at the request of the World Bank. The Policy Note went through extensive revisions and World Bank reviews, and was finally sent to the new Government in December along with Policy Notes on nine other sectors. The Policy Note was sent to the USAID Feed the Future team in Tanzania for concurrence but due to lack of time, a thorough approval review was not completed. Consequently, the views presented in the Policy Note were attributed to a USAID consultant and World Bank staff, and not to USAID. The Policy Note is broader in scope than SERA policy work and includes greater coverage of non‐food crops, smallholders, marketing, irrigation, and extension. Several World Bank staff, including the former and current senior agricultural economists, made substantive contributions to the Policy Note.
There were important personnel changes in Q1 as the Chief of Party, Marialyce Mutchler, was on extended leave. The former Chief of Party and currently the Senior Advisor, Don Mitchell, returned to lead the project.