It was a great opportunity to sit down with various scholars and discuss about future of food in cities. The discussion focused on three main themes: (i) Feeding our cities; (ii) Land policy in varying contexts; and (iii) Innovation in global contexts. I was much interested in ‘innovation’ subject and I am glad to have been given a chance to contribute on this matter. One of the speakers, Dr. Garry Fehr mentioned that innovation must not necessarily be technology-wise. This is relevant especially in developing countries such as Tanzania which is still lagging behind in terms of technological advancement. Another interesting observation was the fact that smallholder farmers appear to be the major food suppliers in majority of developing countries, Tanzania being no exception. Smallholder farmers do an amazing and great job of feeding these countries. However, they are faced with many challenges one of which being limited access to financial services. In my opinion, the best way of helping them is for the respective governments, policy makers and other stakeholders to make use of the presented opportunities which when taken advantage appropriately, they can result into positive impacts on farmers’ productivity. With respect to future of food and innovation, a good example of an innovative idea is for agricultural and food companies in developing countries to make use of stock market to raise funds instead of relying on bank loans. This will result to direct and indirect benefits to companies and smallholder farmers respectively. On one side, companies will be able to raise funds at minimal costs, which can be allocated in further investments in agriculture or other productive economic activities. On the other hand, it will be an opportunity for smallholder farmers to accumulate savings for future expansion of their agricultural activities.
Published by Mariam Genes Shirima
I work as a Research Assistant at Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Currently, I am also pursuing my Master Degree in Public Policy Analysis and Programme Management, a degree offered at the Institute of Human Settlement Studies, Ardhi University. View all posts by Mariam Genes Shirima