If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

One side of development work in Tanzania

I represent Concern here in Tanzania.

I am very gratified to see articles published that attempt to delve into some of the more complex aspects of development work in Africa. “The plight of small farmers against the might of big business”. It’s a familiar refrain.

But David Ralph’s recent article (Features, Mar 21)) tells just one side of the story. It describes the problem but stops short of offering any solutions. And yet that’s what people need and want — whether here in Dar Es Salaam or in Dublin. So, if I may take up the story where Mr Ralph left off, with the unanswered question: ‘What needs to be done?’.

Firstly, land title must be secured for small holder farmers, and especially for women farmers. The Government needs to move far more quickly on this issue and farmers need to understand the importance of gaining formal title. Secondly, donors must focus on protecting poor and vulnerable people. Their priority is not supporting or perpetuating the power of big business. Thirdly, investor lease agreements need to provide for situations like Sun Biofuels (where the company no longer operates or the land lays idle) and ensure the land can revert to the original owner. Fourthly, there are examples of large business working with small holders in a mutually beneficial way.

And finally, in the interests of transparency, local language should always be used when agreeing contracts.

Since 2008, Concern has supported over 10,000 farmers gain title to their land. Let’s look beyond the problem and consider the solutions.

James Davey

Country Director

Concern Worldwide

Tanzania


Lifestyle

A parent coach says parents are often the best judge of how to care for their baby – and explains how they can learn to have faith in their intuition.Ask an expert: How can I know what’s best for my baby?

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.August 23, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

Romantic florals to 1970s chic, fun femininity to gothic grunge —we showcase the top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas, with a focus on the most exciting and diverse designer labels.Coming at you: The top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas

RP O’Donnell says it is hard to find anywhere better than Boston to show your family a great time as he returns to a city he used to call homeA family friendly holiday guide to get the best out of beautiful Boston

More From The Irish Examiner