US to give $2m for farm project Source: The Guardian By Correspondent - 31st January 2011 Tanzanian President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete The US Administration announced will contribute $2 million (nearly 3 Billion/-), to be used to establish the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) project. The move comes as part of the US government's efforts for the deployment of the programme in Tanzania under a new global framework, titled "A New Vision for Agriculture". The US will work in partnership with Tanzania and Vietnam to realise the vision, which aims to promote new initiatives for agricultural development across these regions. Speaking at an international press conference in Davos, Switzerland, where he had joined Tanzanian President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete in promoting the SAGCOT project, the USAID Administrator, Dr Rajiv Shah thanked the Tanzanian president for soliciting their involvement, particularly at such a critical time, when global food prices are set to increase yet again. Joined by business leaders and executives from 17 multinational companies that are at the centre of the project the USAID Administrator declared: "The United States has every intention of supporting this." "To show our commitment to this programme, it gives me great pleasure to pledge additional United States funding for the project to the tune of two million USD," he said. Tanzania requires at least USD 50 million to establish the SAGCOT programme, which expects to see additional investments of up to USD 3.4 billion over the next 20 years. The pilot phase of the project will be carried out in Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya, Rukwa and Ruvuma. Hugh Grant, another participant in the press conference and the Chairman, President and CEO of Monsanto; the US-based Agriculture and Biotechnology conglomerate; explained that in these agro projects, his company plans to ditch genetically modified (GM) seed varieties in favour of local strains. Referring to Tanzania and Vietnam, Grant told reporters: "Our current plans are to use seeds endemic to these two countries – to use natural, uncontaminated strains that can withstand local diseases and pests. Such local strains are most viable for this project." Alleviating the fears that the 17 multinational corporations taking part in this venture would use undue influence to fix the prices of produce garnered from the scheme, President Kikwete told reporters, that a large portion of what is produced under the project will go towards ensuring Tanzanians have enough to feed themselves. He said if there was any surplus, it will be sold at prices determined by the international food market. For his part, Paul Polman, the CEO of British multinational Unilever, clarified that whatever Tanzania produces under SAGCOT will undoubtedly find markets, both locally and internationally. "The world is in grave need for more food. Some people still survive on less than one US dollar per day. You have these people spending 70; 80 percent of their income on food alone. The world must simply produce more food; because a planet without food is an uninhabitable planet," he said. President Kikwete held talks with Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who currently serves as the United Kingdom Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. The two discussed opportunities available for UK investors in Tanzania, and explored how Tanzania might benefit from investing in the UK if it has the necessary capabilities. Kikwete also met the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, and two volunteers, a Mr. and Mrs. Bergman, who have been offering their services in the Orthodontics Department at Muhimbili National Hospital. My Take: Hivi hii si ni sawa na hela tuliyotumia kujenga nyumba ya gavana???????????? Hivi nchi yetu ina vipaumbele kweli??????