The SERA project has two main objectives: i) to improve agricultural policies and ii) to build the capacity of individuals and organizations to undertake policy research and advocate for policy change. During the January – March 2012 quarter, the primary focus of efforts to improve agricultural policies were directed at understanding the impacts of the export ban and at identifying alternative policies to deal with food security. In order to accomplish this, three research teams from highly respected organizations travelled to Tanzania in March to collaborate on methodology, capture data, and begin analysis. Their preliminary reports are scheduled to be presented to the GoT in late‐May and a policy options paper will be prepared for the GoT in June. Other policy activities included examining the appropriate role for the COPB and subsequent discussions with MAFC officials; meeting with seed industry stakeholders to develop the case for reduced taxes and duties on seeds and seed packaging; and working with the BOT and MF to develop the collateral registry system. The SERA team also started initial efforts to analyse rice policy in Zanzibar and to better understand the implications for food security in Zanzibar.
In support of SERA’s second main objective, to build capacity of individuals and organizations to undertake policy research and advocate for policy change, SERA focused its activities on continuing efforts to launch the Policy Seminar Series at Sokoine University, and at identifying suitable organizations to begin developing capacity building programs for them. In addition to these activities, our advocacy and communications activities included conducting a stakeholder survey of approximately 100 individuals and institutions involved in the agricultural sector to better understand client perceptions and interests, and initial planning of a SERA website with guidance from FtF Tanzania. As a way of leveraging resources and extending the impact of our expertise, SERA collaborated with other FtF partners and provided leadership in policy analysis.