Agrinfo Contribution Towards Use of Technology in Promoting Good Governance in Tanzania
Written by Rose Funja, MD and Founder of Agrinfo — September 13TH 2016 http://agrinfo.co.tz/
Holding land title deeds is rare in Tanzania. According to the NGO Concern, less than 10% of the smallholder has formal certificates of ownership for the land they farm on. 70% of the land is classified as village land , which qualifies for certificate of customary rights of occupant (CCRO). The current means of offering CCRO’s involved heavy surveying equipment which can only be operationalized by professionals.
The Tanzanian economy is heavily based on agriculture, which accounts for 24.5 percent of gross domestic product, provides 85 percept of exports and accounts for half of the employed workforce. However the smallholder farmer is rural based where due to poor infrastructures he is inaccessible by the value chain suppliers who are mostly urban based. Todate the smallholder continue to receive expensive farm inputs and poor price offers for their produce.
Agrinfo recognizes the opportunity to assist village executives in offering CCRO using accessible and affordable technologies and involving the villagers in the process. Tools used include the Mobile application for securing Tenure — MAST which uses a satellite imagery on android applications to collect GPS coordinates of farm boundaries along side the meta data. This solution offers an alternative affordable tool and allows participation of community — secondary school students since it doesn’t require professional knowledge to operate.
Agrinfo in its effort to formalise farmland ownership recognizes that the cost incurred to obtain CCRO must as a result bring about a positive economic value to the owners and families. It is in this regard that Agrinfo in its partnership with Namaingo offers organization and incubation of the smallholders to become agribusiness entrepreneurs by offering by services like business name registration, pension and health insurance registration, bank account opening , agriculture technical seminars, digital literacy classes and facilitation to loans access and market linkages for smallholders in associations or cooperatives.
Tanzania’s Village land act provides for village executive officers have the mandate for management and administration of the village land including distribution of the village land to its villagers in a way that they can use to realise economic value and cater for themselves.
Agrinfo and its partners engages the executives in offering technology and incubation services that serve the smallholder in practising agribusiness.