Smallholder Farmers’ Consultative Meeting on Agriculture Budget Processes with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Members of MVIWATA from across regions in Tanzania mainland gathered in Morogoro at MVIWATA headquarters in February 2020 in a one-day meeting with delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture, Policy and Planning Department.

The purpose of the consultative meeting was to familiarize with smallholder farmers on the budget planning processes done by the Ministry of Agriculture, secondly to get insights of the stage at which smallholder farmers’ can participate and give their opinions and priorities for the agriculture budget for the respective financial year, thirdly was to get updates on the status of implementation of the agriculture budget for 2019-2020 and lastly was for smallholder farmers to give their opinions and priorities for agriculture budget 2020-2021.

In 2019, Members of MVIWATA held a consultative meeting with the same objective in Dodoma of which it also involved Members of Parliament for Agriculture, Water and Livestock Committee. Building from the meeting held last year, MVIWATA invited 25 of her members (12 males, 13 female) of which 28% were youth to accomplish the task as narrated above.

In his introductory remarks MVIWATA Executive Director Mr. Stephen Ruvuga welcomed all participants to contribute and share their experience on the matter. He also thanked the Ministry of Agriculture for always been available and open for consultation when needed.

Mr Mohamed Chikawe an officer from Ministry of Agriculture, Policy and Planning Department presented the budgeting process and also gave the status of budget implementation for Ministry of Agriculture 2019-2020.

Mr. Chikawe also presented the budget priorities for 2020-2021 for which he mentioned continuation of implementation of ASDP2, strengthening institutional capacities, laws and regulations, maintenance of infrastructures like warehouses, irrigation schemes and market sheds, supporting the availability of agriculture inputs to farmers, support formation of cooperatives, increase the use of technology by farmers and lastly increase research capacity for challenges facing agriculture sector.

Smallholder farmers gave their opinions and priorities for agriculture budget 2020-2021 notably on the following, timely availability of extension services, market for their produces, research on indigenous knowledge, construction and maintenance of irrigation schemes, timely availability and affordable agriculture inputs, frequent consultation and information provision between the ministry and farmers.

The resolution reached during the meeting were among others, MVIWATA should present its priorities for agriculture budget 2020-2021 in writing and submit to the ministry timely, it was also agreed MVIWATA in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture should prepare and distribute leaflets describing agriculture budget priorities to smallholder farmers and lastly it was agreed that consultative meetings of the like should be an on-going task.

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