Grameen Foundation expanded its East Africa operations to Tanzania in 2017. Our initial work focuses on helping farmers get the financing they need to buy quality seeds, fertilizer and other inputs, and the information they need to use them appropriately.
Access to such inputs is a major challenge for Tanzania’s smallholder farmers, who are responsible for over 75 percent of the country’s agricultural production. Yet, their average rate of fertilizer use was just 5kg per hectare per year (2010), compared to a world average of 100kg. The lack of access to crucial farm inputs and understanding of their sustainable and safe use has contributed to a downward spiral in soil health and farmers’ low yields.
To address these problems, supported by the funding of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), we are working with Positive International Limited, an agro-dealer network, to bundle agriculture information and financial services. The program creates customized crop investment plans for each farmer, and allows farmers to gradually pre-pay via mobile money the price of the inputs they need, at discounted prices. This will give farmers access to fertilizer and seeds they need, when they need them.