Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT) and Mtandao wa vikundi vya wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA)












Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT)



Address o the organisation: Gerezani Street,Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania

General e-mail

Phone number: +255 22 2124851

Name of the President or elected Chairperson:Dr. Sinare Y. SINARE

E-mail address of the President or elected Chairperson:

Phone number of the President or elected Chairperson:+255 713 325000

Name of the Secretary, Manager or Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Mrs. Janet BITEGEKO (Executive Director)

E-mail address of the Secretary, Manager or CEO: /

Phone number of the Secretary, Manager or CEO: + 255 22 2124851


Social Media: Facebook: @actanzania; YouTube: Agricultural Council of Tanzania; Twitter: @ACT_Tz


Geographical coverage

Geographical coverage: National

Foundation and nature of the organisation

Date of creation: 1999

Context of creation: ACT was established in early 1999 under the name of the Tanzania Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock (TCAL). It was inaugurated in March 2000 by the then President William B. Mkapa. The organization changed its name to Agricultural Council of Tanzania – ACT on the 9th of November 2005.  It was created to be the mouthpiece of agricultural private sector stakeholders on issues related to the advancement of the agricultural industry in Tanzania. A group of 10 like-minded people are the founder members.

Legal status:  The organization is registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee at the Tanzanian Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock and has no share capital.



Member organisations

Number of member organisations (for Unions or Federations): 97

Type of member organisations: farmer groups and associations, cooperatives, companies and institutions whose activities are related to agriculture (e.g. farming, livestock keeping, fisheries, beekeeping)

Name of main member organisations: Please see the full list of members here.

Individual farmers members

Number of individual farmers/rural producers members:2,7 million (source: ACT 2016)

Type of members: producers, processors, traders, transporters, researchers, academicians

Number of individual women farmers/rural producers members: approximately 1.1 million



Governing Bodies: ACT’s supreme body is the members, Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM makes final decisions and appointments. Day-to-day activities are directed by the Board of Directors. The Board is elected at the Annual General Meeting. Its life-span is three years.

Organization: ACT is member based composed of Private Sector Organisations – PSOs with varied interests and activities. Individual members are represented by their group, association, cooperative, institution or company. The PSOs attend scheduled and ad-hoc meetings or functions on behalf of their members. Such meetings / workshops / trainings are organised at different levels: District, regional, zonal and national.

Members’ representatives are responsible for shaping the course / direction of ACT. They collect issues from members and submit them for discussion at relevant forums, they participate in policy dialogues, data collection, and analysing research findings.



Strategic plan:ACT is now implementing its second Strategic Plan (2013 - 2018) which provides the direction, content and framework for ACT operations over the next five years. This plan focuses on four strategic goal areas: Lobbying and Advocacy; Capacity Building, Products and Services; Membership Engagement and ACT Sustainability.

Objective/s of the FO: ACT’s objective is to: (i) Strengthen ACT’s evidence –based lobbying and advocacy work on key policy issues impacting the agricultural sector, (ii) Strengthen ACT’s ability to develop and deliver organizational, technical and management capacity programs and services to ACT members, (iii) Increase member’s awareness of ACT programs, capacity building services, and financial resources, to retain at least 85 percent of members, while doubling membership base by 2018 and (iv) Diversify financial resources so as to enable ACT to attain 20 percent budgetary sustainability by 2018.

Mission and Vision of the FO:  Vision: To be a leading private sector apex organization, pursuing the prosperity of all Tanzanian agricultural stakeholders. ACT works for poverty reduction and an improved standard of living for Tanzanians by unifying all members of the agricultural community in the country, promoting and coordinating agricultural interests and supporting and improving the economical and organizational environment for the agricultural sector. Mission: Advocate for a conducive environment for agribusiness, and provide appropriate services to enhance productivity and profitability of the agricultural community.



Main areas/sectors of intervention: Lobbying and advocacy; capacity building; information production and sharing; provision of economic services.

Main activities:

Lobbying and advocacy. ACT pushes for policies that provide a conducive environment for its members and the entire agricultural community in Tanzania through policy research, analysis and advocacy and lobbying actions vis-à-vis the Government of Tanzania. In particular, ACT is the principal stakeholder in championing incentives to: attract investments in agriculture; establish the allocation of adequate land for farming and livestock keeping; stop prohibitive land rents imposed on agricultural land; call for tax exemptions on agricultural inputs and equipment; push for the liberalization of food commodities businesses and cross border trade; establish the Agriculture Development Bank.ACT has influenced positive actions and changes through their lobbying and advocacy activities. Main actions and achievements include the following:

  • Putting agriculture on top of the political agenda through Kilimo Kwanza Resolve (2009). ACT was among the architects of the Kilimo Kwanza Resolution, a national resolve to accelerate agricultural transformation. It comprises a holistic set of policy instruments and strategic interventions towards addressing the various sectoral challenges and taking advantage of the numerous opportunities to modernize and commercialize agriculture in Tanzania (Learn more here);
  • Establishment of the SAGCOT. ACT coordinated the establishment of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) initiative, an evidence to  materialise the implementation of Kilimo Kwanza[1]. ACT continues to support SAGCOT through chairing Board meetings and Annual General Meetings. Also it provides guidance in the implementation of  the SAGCOT Catalytic Fund;
  • Increase of public expenditure in the agricultural sector. In the financial year 2000/2001 the Government spent 2.1 percent of its total budget for the agriculture sector. Lobbying and advocacy actions enabled gradual budgetary increases reaching 7.7 percent in year 2010/2011 (although a budgetary decline was reigstered in the period 2015 / 2016 with 4.5 percent of budget allocation to the agriculture sector);
  • Incentive package for the agricultural sector. ACT was instrumental in creating attractive incentives to invest in agriculture. This was done through policy dialogues to streamline land taxation, reducing taxes on agro-inputs and machineries, revisiting crop levies / cess, and improving the general agribusiness policy environment;
  • Establishment of the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) and the Agricultural window at Tanzania Investment Bank in the interim. The idea to create a special financial institution to cater for the agricultural community originates from ACT. TADB was launched in 2015 and it is providing financial support at affordable terms to small scale farmers and agribusinesses. ACT is represented by two members on the TADB Board;
  • Reduction / removal of taxes in the agricultural sector (e.g. on agricultural inputs and implements; 100 percent VAT on airfreight, the supply of goods and services to the organized farming for the purpose of building irrigation canals.  In 2015 the agricultural land rent was reduced from Tsh.1,000/- to 400/- per acre in rural areas, and from Tsh.10,000/- to Tsh.5,000/- per acre  in urban areas. ACT is continuing to lobby for removal of uncalled for crop levies and multiple regulations);
  • Signature of MoU with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (2016). The signing of the MoU reflects the spirit of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP). The main objective is to build, promote and strengthen the private sector to effectively participate in the development of the agricultural sector. In this spirit, ACT has instituted collaborative and innovative processes in the effective use of the Public Private Dialogue (PPD) platforms at District Level. These platforms are providing direction to ACT members, guaranteeing coherence in the network through forward planning and resource availability, as well as sustaining continuous dialogue with public sector in collaboration with members at District level.

Information production and sharing. ACT disseminates agricultural information to members (via its newsletter) to increase awareness of ACT programmes and activities, also enable members to access to technical expertise and services.

Provision of economic services. A central pillar of ACT’s work is to promote agribusiness and facilitate and coordinate Private Public partnerships. For example, ACT:

  • Coordinates the Tanzania Agricultural Input Partnership (TAIP) programme, consisting of public institutions, private companies and national and international organisations (e.g. the International Fund for Agricultural Development – IFAD and NORAD) coordinated by ACT. The goal is to reduce poverty among rural people by delivering appropriate agricultural inputs and improving output markets for farmers’ produce. TAP is enabling key actors e.g. NMB, YARA, John Deere, Rapha Group, Mtenda Ltd to deliver services to farmers and other rural based entrepreneurs;
  • Since 2014 has been hosting the Regional Agribusiness Conferences,bringing together local and international stakeholders, investors and suppliers to showcase their products and services. Also to set strategic plans aiming at accelerating regional growth and market accessibilities in the Eastern Africa agricultural corridors

Capacity Building: ACT is committed to enhancing the capacity of its members to help them become more professional, efficient and effective organizations. In this regard, ACT provides: (i) practical solutions to identified members’ problems; (ii) organizes seminars, workshops and meetings on relevant issues; and (iii) conducts trainings based on need assessments (e.g. skills in effective lobbying and advocacy, leadership and transparency, and effective communication).

Main products of members: most of ACT's members are engaged in crop and livestock production along the value chain. The main crops are coffee, tea, tobacco, sugar cane, cashew nuts, sisal, maize, paddy and horticultural crops. As regards to livestock, most of ACT's members are occupied with cattle and poultry keeping for meat, milk and eggs.



Main partners: Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Agra, Better Environment Strengthening in Tanzania- Dialogue (BEST- Dialogue), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, East African Business Council, Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), European Union (EU),Foundation for Civil Society, IFAD, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries  (MLF), Ministry of Industries, Trade and Marketing, NORAD, farmers’ organisations, development partners (for SAGCOT partners, see the full list here), Swiss Development Agency (SDC), Yara International

Main projects:

  • TRANS- Sec (2013 - 2018), funded by Germany Federal Ministry of Education – GFME, co-funded by Research and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperations and Development - RFECD. The main activity is to identify policy issues as they merge in the course of project implementation & develop a platform for discussion and policy recommendations;
  • Support to Farmers’ Organisations in Africa Programme (SFOAP) (2013-2017) (IFAD, EU, SDC, AFD financing), a capacity building programme supporting the institutional development of farmers’ organisations. ACT participates in the SFOAP as a member of theSouthern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU);
  • Institutionalization and adopting the Commodity Investment Plans (CIPs) at District Level (2016 - 2017), funded by NORAD. The main activity is to evaluate levels of adoption, institulazation and impact of CIPs in the Local Government Authorities, and its intergration within DADPs;
  • Effective Regulations of the Tanzania Cotton Industry (2016-2017), funded by BEST-Dialogue. The main activity is to research the regulatory frameworks governing the operations in the cotton value chain, ultimately to come up with policy recommendations for reforms geared towards improved regulatory environment to enable the sector to grow, and following up on the major policy reforms;
  • Rationalizing multiple regulations in Tanzanian agriculture: The case of fisheries sub-sector (2016 - 2017), funded by BEST-Dialogue. The main activity is to research / investigate the regulatory environment in fisheries value chain, and come up with policy recommendations, publication and media engagement;
  • Effective enforcement of laws and regulations to combat the distribution of counterfeit of agricultural inputs (2016) (funded by NORAD). The main activity is to research on regulatory frameworks governing the flow of agricultural inputs along the supply chain and how they influence farmers productivity and incomes;

Membership in other organisations: ACT is affiliated to several national and regional organisations. E.g. Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) and through them the Pan-African Farmers’ Organization (PAFO), Eastern Africa Business Council (EABC) and the Southern Africa Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU). Internationally, it is a member of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth.



  • ACT, ACT Newsletters from 2011 to 2016. Available here
  • ACT, PolicyBrief 2, Land Rent: Disincentive to investment and commercialization of Tanzania agriculture, September 2011. Available here
  • ACT, PolicyBrief 1, A stumbling block to agricultural revolution in Tanzania, September 2011. Available here
  • ACT, Poisition Paper Agricultural Sector Contribution to the Proposal Paper on Tanzania’s Local Content Policy, 2014. Available here
  • IFAD/SFOAP, Final Report of the SFOAP Pilot Phase (including case studies related to success stories), 2013, Availablehere.
  • B. Jenkins, “Mobilizing the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania”. Harvard Kennedy School, 2012. Available here


Last update: November 2016


[1]SAGCOT is an agricultural partnership designed to improve agricultural productivity, food security and livelihoods in Tanzania. It was initiated at the World Economic Forum Africa summit in May 2010, following which the SAGCOT Investment Blueprint was launched nationally and internationally at the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos. The Investment Blueprint showcases investment opportunities in the Corridor and lays out a framework of institutions and activities required to reap the development potential.



Mtandao wa vikundi vya wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA)


Address of Head Office:P.O. Box 3220 Morogoro, Tanzania

Phone Number: + 255 23 26 14 11 84

Chairman: Habibou SIMBAMKUTI

Executive Director: Stephen RUVUGA – 

Programme Officer: Laurent N. KABURIRE - + 255 - 754 542 650



Contacts of Middle Level Networks are available here


Geographical coverage. MVIWATAoperates in all regions of Tanzania, and has members throughout the country both in the Mainland and Zanzibar. 

Date and Context of creation

Date of creation: Founded in 1993, formally registered in 1995

MVIWATA was founded in 1993, by 22 innovative farmers from the Morogoro, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Rukwa and Dodoma regions for the purpose of creating a farmer-to-farmer exchange forum. The Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), through its Strengthening Communication Project (SUA-SCOM), guided the initial process in the formation of MVIWATA.

In 2003, the organisation's constitution was rewritten with a conscious emphasis on regional networking, lobbying and advocacy in order to attain national outreach and impact. This new emphasis effectively turned MVIWATA's focus away from extension and towards developing human capacities for farmer groups through multiple-level networking.

Legal status. MVIWATA was registered in 1995 under the Society Ordinance Act (Reg. no. SO 8612), and in 2000 as the Trust Fund. In 2007 MVIWATA received a compliance certificate under the NGO Act of 2002 (Reg. no 1930).

Membership. The memberships of MVIWATA are divided into three types:

1. Ordinary members (groups or individual farmer whose membership is acquired through the group)

2. Organisations, Associations and Networks which are owned by small-scale farmers and whose objectives are compliant with the mission of MVIWATA 

3. Associate members (any person, institution or group of people, who cannot become ordinary members but whose contribution can be outstanding and can enhance the mission of MVIWATA. An associate member shall be endorsed by the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Currently MVIWATA has more than 100, 000 individual small-scale farmers (with membership cards) through their groups.

Objective/mission of the NFO

Slogan: “Mtetezi wa Mkulima ni Mkulima Mwenyewe “ (“The defender of the farmer is the farmer himself”)

Goal: To unite small holder farmers (including all small producers whose livelihood depend on land including pastoralists and fisher folk) in order to defend their interests and address the challenges of farmers with one voice.

Mission: To strengthen farmers’ groups and networks, facilitate communication and learning through exchange visits among farmers for the purpose of defending the interests of small scale farmers.

Vision: To become a strong farmers’ organisation that will guarantee small-scale farmers’ participation and representation in socio-economic and policy dialogue process at various levels through learning, initiating, implementing and monitoring social and economic development processes.


1.   To facilitate communication among small scale farmers in order to build collective strategies for defending farmers interests

2.   To facilitate exchange of knowledge, experiences and ideas on farming and activities which aim at improving the livelihood of farmers.

3.   To represent small holder farmers in matters and decision making bodies of interest to smallholder farmers.

Strategies: The main strategies of MVIWATA are as follows:

  • Capacity building of small-scale farmers on lobbying and advocacy through training and self-organisation in groups and networks under one umbrella so as to influence decisions;
  • Economic empowerment of small-scale farmers through creation of projects such as savings and credit, cereal banks, rural tourism and other rural enterprises;
  • Affiliation with national and international networks and organisations for lobbying and advocacy purposes.

Main activities 

a)      Lobbying and advocacy

 Involvement in policy formulation and analysis. MVIWATA works on issues of interest to small-scale farmers and to ensure representation of farmers’ views in the policies that affect them. MVIWATA has developed strong relationships outside its own network at the regional, national and international levels, which has made it influential at higher policy levels. Examples of such relationships include policy research institutes; land rights research institutes; poverty alleviation research institutes; and other regional networks. MVIWATA has recently assisted the regional Eastern and Southern Africa Farmers Federation (ESAFF) in getting registered in Tanzania and in developing a future fund-raising strategy. The organisation also sits in on several boards and commissions. It has initiated a good number of national campaigns and entered into coalitions when relevant for its constituency.

Decentralisation. When Tanzania decided to decentralise in 2005, MVIWATA immediately engaged in this process by analysing the implications of this policy shift for its constituency and sensitising its members on how to request transparency and make use of local resource allocation procedures.

Transparency and accountability. MVIWATA has a role in the Public Expenditure Tracking System (PETS), an instrument devised by civil society to enable local communities to monitor public expenditure by local governments. The application of this instrument was even welcomed by local government staff who also benefited from the dialogues organised by MVIWATA on transparency and accountability.

 b)      Economic empowerment

MVIWATA works to enable small-scale famers to become economically empowered through initiatives such as savings and credit, market linkages and development of entrepreneurship skills.

MVIWATA improved credit access and living standards of small-scale farmers with rural micro finance institutions, processing, marketing and entrepreneurship. A total of six markets under farmer supervision have been constructed in the Morogoro, dodoma, Tanga and Iringa regions.

c)      Capacity building

MIVWATA works on capacity building of small-scale farmers on questions relating to leadership, economic skills (such as marketing, savings and credits and income generating activities) and on cross issues such as HIV/AIDS and gender.

As a result of the success of the cereal banks, processing and modernised storage techniques it helped put in place, MVIWATA improved the food security situation of farmers.

d)      Information

News and media. Collecting and disseminating information on experiences and knowledge of farmers through publications such as the Pambazuko quarterly newsletter titled ‘The Voice of Farmers’, the weekly radio program called the « Voice of MVIWATA », and other publications.

Workshop and local produce promotion. MVIWATA organises farmers’ dialogue and forums (such as workshops and meetings, study tours, exchange visits) and facilitates farmer participation to agricultural shows where they can market their products and enhance their learning.

e)      Relations with stakeholders/networking

MVIWATA’s strategy is partly based on its ability to develop partnership. MVIWATA liaises with an important number of external actors. Some are from the private sector (for marketing agricultural produce), whereas others include viable savings and credit societies. These alliances instil a more commercial, business-oriented spirit to local networks.

 Partnerships developed

a) Membership in other networks or agricultural platforms

MVIWATA is a member of the Eastern African Farmer Federation (EAFF), Regional Farmer Organisation’s Network (REFON), La Via Campesina and Tanzania Land Alliance (TALA).

b) Partnerships

National partners: MVIWATA has collaborations or partnerships with the following institutions:

  • The Government of Tanzania;
  • The Government of Zanzibar;
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA);
  • Moshi University College of Cooperative and Business Studies (MUCCOBs)

International partners:

IFAD, EU, SDC, AFD within the SFOAP. MVIWATA participates in the Support to Farmers Organization in Africa Programme as a member of EAFF.

FERT within theSupport to Rural Markets Project (SRM), EU funded (2006- 2009). 

AFD, within the Rural Markets Development Project (RMDP), implemented from January 2002 to December 2004. The project saw the construction of four rural markets: the Kibaigwa market in the Kongwa district Dodoma, the Tandai and Tawa markets in the Morogoro district, and the Nyandira market in Mvomero district Morogoro.

Agroforestry, within the Enhancing Advocacy and Organisational Skills of Small-scale farmers in the Lake Zone of Tanzania. This project aims at strengthening middle networks of MVIWATA in Kagera, Mwanza and Mara Regions.

AGRITERRA within the Strengthening entrepreneurship skills of producer groups, aiming at improving productivity and development of viable agribusiness enterprises at grass roots in the project target groups.

OXFAM & VECO. Strengthening the farmers’ groups and networks at all levels. The project is being implemented in partnership with Agriterra, OXFAM and VECO.

TRUST AFRICA, within the Srengthen advocacy capacity of smallholder farmers in reinforcing accountability and resource availability in agricultural sector, a partnership project aiming at advocating for increasing budgetary allocation for agriculture in the national budget as a way of developing agricultural sector and address food security.

Others partners: GRET, InAdES Formation Tanzania, KEPA of Finland, Lay Volunteers International Association (LVIA) of Italy, Irish Aid, Participatory Ecological and Land use Management (PELUM)

For a full list of developed partnership and projects, please visit here.

Main resources, studies and publications

AGRITERRA. Rural membership organisations in Tanzania: an overview. August 2009.

MVIWATA. The defender of the farmer is the farmer himself. 8 pages. Available here

RUVUGA S. & KABURIRE L. (MVIWATA). Networking for agricultural innovation. The MVIWATA national network of farmers’ groups in Tanzania.  Available here

RUVUGA S. (MVIWATA). Roles of Produceurs Organisations in linking farmers to local/regional markets on better terms. 17th Feb 2014. 34 slides. Available here

SNELDER H. (MDF). Evaluation of Agriterra’s support to capacity development. Based on evidence from case studies in MVIWATA, Tanzania, SYDIP, Democratic Republic of Congo, FEKRITAMA, Madagascar.  2010. Available here

TRIAS. Tanzanian youngsters embarking on the business path, 2014. 7 pages. Available here

VALLEUR S. & KILCHER F. (FERT), RUVUGA S. & LUBINZA F. (MVIWATA). FERT and MVIWATA’s Experience in Supporting the Marketing of Agricultural Products in Tanzania. June 2009. Available here

VIANNEY NTAHOMVUKIYE JM. Study tour to MVIWATA in Tanzania on the market Information System. 25 to 29 March 2013. Available here