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For a long time in history, agriculture has continued to be an important pillar to support livelihood of a larger proportion of our people. This sector is responsible for ensuring food security by providing crops, livestock and marine products sufficient to feed over 1,000,000 people residing in Zanzibar. Agriculture is a direct source of employment to about 42 percent of the population and contributes to more than a quarter of the national economy.
Zanzibar has a great potential for developing agriculture, taking into account its comparative advantage of having good soils and rainfalls to support crop production as well as natural pastures for feeding livestock. The great diversity of marine macro flora and fauna species and a variety of forest resources provides unique opportunity for the islands to fairly taking a lead in fulfilling the demand for domestic and export market of farm products, especially fruits and spices at the regional and international horizon.
Like many other regional states of the sub-Sahara Africa, agriculture sector in Zanzibar is invariably devastated by a number of challenges, mainly associated with continuous application of inappropriate farming technologies, limited investment opportunities, and a slow pace towards commercializing agricultural production. Agricultural development is also defied by a poor marketing infrastructure and perpetuated by unpredictable impacts of climate changes. In order to address these challenges, joint initiatives are required to uphold the national endeavours towards the attainment of bona fide green revolution.
Since the beginning of the millennium, the Government has been compellingly embarking on the implementation of its national macro policies, strategies and programmes. The Zanzibar Growth Strategy (ZGS), Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (ZSGRP) and a long-term economic vision (Vision 2020) became a central focus in the attention of all major sectors namely; economic, social welfare as well as national governance. In this inventive the Government recognizes the role of agriculture being of a supreme significance in overall economic performance of the islands. In view of this scenario, the Government in collaboration with Development Partners (DPs) established the medium and long term agricultural development programmes (ASSP/ASDP-L) as well as Marine and Coastal Environment Management Project (MACEMP) with the prime objectives of empowering farmers’ and fishermen’s capacity 3 to produce and dispose their products profitably and to their best possible ways of protecting the environment.
As described hereunder, the accomplishment of ATI philosophy is largely dependent on political will, professional commitment and private sector led transformation. It’s my trust that all these essential ingredients are borne within our hearts and with the spirit of solidarity the success will always remain at our reach.
I commend the team of experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment for the magnificent job they went through towards successful completion of this document. I sincerely hope that all stakeholders working with agriculture and other development sectors will take their time to read and apprehend the proposed strategic approaches and get ready for timely implementation. What can be done today should not wait for tomorrow.
God bless Zanzibar and plentifully give us the strength and capacity to achieve our goals.