Farm Radio International, with the support of the Agriculture Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF), ONE and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, conducted an innovative mobile phone poll to consult farmers across Tanzania on their access to reliable, local markets. 8,891 Tanzanian smallholder farmers participated in the poll – a project which gave farmers a voice by uniting two of the most powerful technologies in rural Africa, the radio and the mobile phone. The poll focused on market access, which has been identified as a key challenge facing Tanzanian farmers.


It showed that farmers believe that market access is a significant problem for them. Many farmers think that greater access to reliable local markets would improve their lives by enabling them to earn more and grow more.


Tanzanian farmers are looking to their government to do more to support them by providing greater knowledge of markets and by creating a better regulatory environment.


To further amplify farmers’ voices, civil society organisations, leaders and celebrities have come together as part of the Do Agric, It Pays campaign. The campaign calls on African leaders to commit to policy reforms and increase public investment in agriculture at the African Union Summit in late June 2014. A Do Agric petition calling for these actions has collected over one million signatures. The petition and findings from the poll will be presented on June 10 at an event in Dar es Salaam.