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Speech of Norway's Minister of International Development Nikolai Astrup at signing of Intention of Cooperation with WFP on support to the Farm to Market Alliance

Handshake - Photo:The Embassy
WFP's Michael Dunford and Minister Astrup shaking hands after having signed the Intention of Cooperation. Photo: Yara Tanzania.

Honorable Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Omary Mgumba,

Honorable Ambassador

Honorable representatives of the Government of Tanzania, Yara, World Food Program, and other partners.

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am very pleased to be here. Today I have seen examples of impressive results in the development of agriculture in Tanzania. I would like to congratulate the farmers, the government, and Yara on what you have achieved so far.  The potential for further growth in agriculture is great.  

The 2030 Agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals is a key priority for my government. The Sustainable Development Goals have given all countries a mandate for action.

To reach the Sustainable Development Goals, we have to create new, innovative and dynamic partnerships. We need to break down the barriers that hinder cooperation across sectors. Reducing poverty and malnutrition, fomenting economic growth and achieving food security requires joint action.

The Farm to Market Alliance is doing just that. It is breaking new ground by aligning public and private actors towards a common goal.

Yara brought the alliance to my attention shortly after I had taken up my post as Minister for International Development.

Since then, I have discussed the alliance with the head of the World Food Program. It is my intention to ensure that development funds become a catalyst for private sector investments and engagement. To this effect, I am pleased that Norway will provide support for the Farm to Market Alliance.

Norwegian development collaboration with Tanzania goes back more than fifty years. The Norwegian government has supported agricultural development in this country, including through research, higher education, knowledge development among farmers and the SAGCOT initiative.

The Government of Norway has also invested in agriculture in the private sector through Norfund. One example is our contribution to this terminal. Improved access to better quality fertilizer, and teaching farmers the right use of fertilizer, are essential for growth in agriculture.

In a partnership, all parties contribute what they can or what they are good at. I understand that in Tanzania, there is a proverb to this effect: Little by little, we fill the bowl [In Swahili Kidogo Kidogo hujaza kibaba]. If we all bring in a little, collectively we can make a big difference! We all can and should contribute to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. I am convinced the collaborative spirit between the different partners of the Farm to Market Alliance will bring significant benefits to Tanzania.

Let me end by expressing my gratitude to the Deputy Minister for accompanying me here today, and also thank his government for their friendship and hospitality on this visit.

We have had frank and open discussions on a long range of topics, including the importance of private sector for job creation and development as well as good governance and respect for human rights.

I have met with members of the business community and will also meet with representatives of the civil society. Their voices and participation are important for Tanzania’s development.

Finally,

Let me also thank Yara for hosting this event today and everyone here for participating.

Thank you! Asanteni sana!