Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Mlandizi Farm Women’s Cooperative
SECRETARY CLINTON: I am very honored to be here, and I want to thank the prime minister for joining me for this special announcement. And I also want to thank members of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, the Upendo Women’s Group, SyndTrack, and our many other Feed the Future partners. And to the women I met just now at the greenhouse, I am so delighted to be with you. (Applause.)
This is a wonderful place to be, and a very good example of our work together in Tanzania at a women’s cooperative farm, supported by USAID and located in the southern growth corridor, which is exactly where we believe profound transformation can occur in your country, because where women learn the best ways to grow and cultivate their own nutritious food which they use to feed their children and sell at market, we see progress. And I appreciate the opportunity, along with the prime minister, to plant a sweet potato seedling. (Applause.)
I am aware that most people in Tanzania go to work on plots like the ones we see around us today. Three out of every four people in this country earn their living through agriculture, and they produce twenty-five percent of the economy. But they often labor against quite difficult obstacles. They don’t have good roads in rural areas, so it is difficult to get their products to market. Low crop productivity can also be a challenge. And while the country is largely self-sufficient in maize, the main staple crop, many farmers don’t have the tools they need to use their land as efficiently as their counterparts in other countries around the world.
We also know that regional and seasonal crop imbalances contribute to serious food shortages and under-nutrition. And we learned this morning at the roundtable the prime minister hosted that 4 out of 10 young children do not get all the calories that they need, and the nutrients required to grow up healthy.
Now, these issues are serious and urgent. But I believe for every challenge in Tanzania there is a solution in Tanzania. This country has a vibrant agricultural industry with a sizable number of women contributing to it. And you have this southern agricultural growth corridor, an area with rich farm land and a network of roads and rail lines that lead to the port in Dar es Salaam.
And, most importantly, there is a great partnership here. The people are working together to improve their agricultural productivity. And the United States wants to be one of those partners. This country is home to our largest Millennium Challenge Corporation program. It is also one of the only four countries in the world that has been chosen for a new economic development initiative we are calling the Partnership for Growth. (Applause.) There are only two countries in Africa.
And today we are here to celebrate Feed the Future in Tanzania. This is our, United States, commitment to support country-led plans that address the root causes of poverty, hunger, and under-nutrition. And we are working with Tanzania’s agriculture and food security investment plan.
The accelerated investments I am here to announce today demonstrate our commitment to you. Subject to congressional approval, the United States will invest nearly $70 million in agricultural development and food security in Tanzania over — (applause). This is a 14-times-greater investment than we made in 2008 and 2009. And we are also investing in nutritional programs. And this morning I was pleased to announce we are increasing our nutritional funding 4 times over to $6.7 million. (Applause.)
Now, to take advantage of Tanzania’s fertile farm land, we will pool more than 80 percent of our Feed the Future investment in this southern growth corridor. We have decided to concentrate our resources here in line with the country-led vision laid out by the government of Tanzania. We are working with the private sector, the World Bank, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and others. And we want to focus on results for people.
I was pleased to hear that already the diversity of crops here is making a difference in the nutritional status of your children. And we think that is a very good result. We hope that you will become not only a model for the country, but you will become a model for all of Africa. (Applause.) The women here are pioneers and leaders in taking agriculture across the continent.
This is the first time that we have announced a country moving to the next phase of Feed the Future. We have a lot of confidence in Tanzania, in your government, but mostly, Prime Minister, in your people. (Applause.) We plan to continue accelerating our investment in support of the priorities that Tanzania has identified, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the government and the people of this beautiful country.
Thank you, and asante sana. (Applause.)