On Tuesday 05th September 2023, Kilimo Trust, a not-for-profit organization working on agriculture for development in East Africa launched its new five-year strategic plan (2023 – 2028) in a colorful ceremony at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The launch event was graced by dignitaries from the Ministry of Agriculture of Tanzania, Agricultural Research Institutions from the region, funding partners such as The IKEA Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), MasterCard Foundation, Kilimo Trust Board of Trustees, and management.
Kilimo Trust’s new strategic plan is aimed at achieving sustainable livelihoods and better communities in the region.
The strategy will prioritize agricultural transformation and resilience, effective and efficient project implementation, resource mobilization, sustainability, and operational efficiency.
According to Kilimo Trust’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Birungi Korutaro, the organization will continue to work with a vast network of stakeholders including small and medium farmers, women, People with Disabilities, youth, farmer institutions and other value chain actors.
Dr. Korutaro added that the new strategy is well aligned with the seven Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are: No poverty, Zero Hunger, Good health and wellbeing, Gender equality, Decent work and economic growth and Industry, innovation and infrastructure, and Climate action.
In the new strategy, Kilimo Trust will build on lessons learnt in sustainable agricultural practices and continue equipping actors in the sector with timely information and cutting-edge innovations in mitigating the emerging effects of climate change.
In the next five years, Kilimo Trust’s work will focus on contributing towards enhanced food systems and nutritional security, food quality and access to high value markets, among others.
The organization aims to impact almost a million and a half farmers, create over 10,000 meaningful jobs, support over 1,000 small and medium enterprises and work to establish more than 5,000 business linkages. It is expected that over 100 million US Dollars will be accessed by farmers and other value chain actors through this work.
During the launch, stakeholders appreciated the new strategy and what the organization plans to achieve. The IKEA Foundation representative Nico Janssen expressed support for the Trust’s efforts.
“That connection from farmers to markets is essential. But it is also a strong network with local governments to influence policy. And even more important is its strong roots in several leading African universities, to work with the next generation of knowledge leaders to see where to go with Africa…that is for us really a driving factor why we like working with Kilimo Trust,” he said.
Prof. Ruth Oniang’o, one of the Board Members of Kilimo Trust urged funding partners to build partnerships for knowledge sharing; “We have different things going on in the different countries, and the idea is to share. And we have just come from a bad patch, where we did not have funding. And we would just like one of you to provide those funds to go and find those best practices. To hear from the mouths of the beneficiaries. We need to document that, so that we can all borrow.”
In the last five years, Kilimo Trust achieved considerable milestones that contributed to the SDGs such as creating jobs for over 5,000 farmers and other value chain actors while over 200,000 households accessed 3 meals per day through its interventions, and close to a million households accessed nutritious and safe food and over 15,000 women in agriculture were empowered through tailored capacity building and mentorship programs.
Kilimo Trust’s interventions further reached over 500 small and medium enterprises who were supported to access business development services and over 3,000 business linkages were created.