Slow Food in Tanzania
Slow Food has been developing activities in Tanzania since 2004, when over 20 delegates from the country participated in the first Terra Madre event in Turin, Italy. Now local Slow Food groups are promoting good, clean and fair food across the country, primarily in the north (Kilimanjaro, Meru and Arusha), along the coast (Dar es Salaam region) and in the central-east (Morogoro, Dodoma and Singida). The largest country along Africa’s eastern coast, Tanzania experimented with “Ujamaa” socialism under President Julius Nyerere, one of Africa’s most enlightened 20th-century politicians, who led the country after independence in 1961. Much was invested into education and literary programs, community development and the agricultural sector. Positive effects, such as a lively and pervasive entrepreneurial spirit, can still be seen in this relatively stable country, despite the devastating spread of HIV, which has laid waste to multiple generations and left thousands of orphans, profoundly changing family and social structures. Women, particularly those who are now elderly, are confident and educated, and can act as agents of important change at a socio-political level and as the driving force behind local economies. The initiatives carried out by the Slow Food network to create awareness, achieve food sovereignty and improve everyday nutrition include the safeguarding of traditional beekeeping, the rediscovery of wild vegetables and herbs, the mapping of local banana varieties, the integration of food-growing into school programs, the spread of agroecological practices to improve farmers’ resilience and autonomy and the valuing of the role of young people in training and awareness-raising activities. The major challenges to be addressed are linked to the lack of availability of native seeds and organic inputs, thanks to government policies that favor industrial agriculture and allow foreign investors to indiscriminately take over arable land. In January 2017, the Tanzanian government passed a law that gives Western agribusiness investors faster and better access to agricultural land and strong protection of intellectual property rights, in exchange for development aid. Under this new law Tanzanian farmers are subject to a minimum jail term of 12 years and a fine of over €200 if they sell seeds that are not certified.
|Slow Food Convivium:||Meru Tanzania Convivium|
|Coordinator:||Reguli Damas Marandu|
|Sibling with:||Slow Food Aachen Convivium, Germany|