‘Agri reforms on right track’

…Stakeholders say Nane Nane steers attaining agenda 2030

TANZANIA : AS President Samia Suluhu Hassan rolls down the curtain for the annual National Farmers’ Day Exhibition (Nane Nane) 2023 today, a cross section of agriculture stakeholders have said the country was on the right track in attaining agri sector reforms.

The first week of August is all about agriculture in Tanzania. From August 1st onwards, agricultural fairs are organised all over the country, culminating in the national holiday Nane Nane on August 8th.

The celebrations are meant to recognise the important contribution of farmers to the Tanzanian economy and for the past few years, the national level events have been staged at the John Mwakangale grounds in Mbeya Region.

In run up to the great day today, agriculture stakeholders in the country have expressed their optimism about exhibition in attaining the goals of Agenda 2030.

The government’s aim is to achieve more than 10 per cent growth for the agriculture sector by 2030.

Other goals are ensuring food security and supply to cater for domestic demand and export, increasing the value of export of agricultural produce from 1.2 billion US dollars to more than 5 billion US dollars by 2030.

Speaking to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, Executive Director of LHAP Agric Investment Company Limited, Mr Audax Rukonge said Nane Nane plays a crucial part in supporting farmers to meet their service providers including researchers of agricultural seeds and fertilisers.

He said that through Nane Nane exhibition, farmers have been solving their agricultural challenges, getting advice and exchanging ideas with agricultural experts to achieve productive agriculture.

Mr Rukonge asked the government to add more value to the Nane Nane exhibition, by bringing together innovative farmers in the country, so that they can provide education about their creativity to other farmers.

He added that in empowering farmers to sell their crops abroad, it was imperative for the Ministry of Agriculture to work closely with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to enable farmers add value to their produce and have reliable market for their product.

For his side, Executive Director of Evergreen Agriculture Tanzania, Mr Deusdedit Kiiza said through Nane Nane exhibition, farmers have been getting training and various methods to practice productive agriculture.

“The exhibition involves number of experts from different areas in agriculture, fisheries and livestock sector,” he said.

He said that the exhibition support farmers in the improvement of agriculture by introducing number of technologies including modern agricultural machines, breeding and fishing.

Mr Kiiza said it was time now for the government to bring the exhibition to the district level, to reach more farmers in the country.

Earlier January this year, in her speech as a panelist at a session on ‘Food Action in Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, President Samia Suluhu Hassan made assurance of achieving a 10 per cent annual growth rate in the agricultural sector by 2030 compared to the current growth of around 3.6 per cent, as part of the country’s ambitious agricultural transformation vision.

According to the president, Tanzania has developed a national pathway for food system transformation, which is expected to strengthen local production, improve livelihoods, help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

In implementing a sustainable food system in Tanzania, President Samia said a number of efforts have been done, including establishing a programme for youths, while continuing to build on the successful work of agricultural growth corridors such as the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).

Recently, officiating the exhibition opening in Mbeya Region, Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango reiterated the government’s commitment to develop further the agricultural, fisheries and livestock sectors to increase production, productivity and value of products in the country.

Besides, the initiatives are anticipated to boost incomes of people as well as generate employment opportunities for the many youths considering the fact that agriculture sector is the backbone of the economy.

Elaborating, the VP said that was the reason the government has increased its budget for the agriculture ministry from 294bn/- in 2021/2022 to 970.7bn/- in 2023/2024, -a record increase by 330 per cent since independence.

As for livestock and fisheries, he said their budget rose from 275bn/- in 2021/2022 to 295bn/- 2023/2024 with the aim of strengthening the sectors.

The VP noted that the country has recorded a staggering increase in sales of crops, which have helped to strengthen foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the economy of the country.

In recognising the role of the youth and importance of employment creation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries established the Building a Better Tomorrow (BBT) initiative where some 13 incubation centres were introduced to support 812 youths comprising of 282 females and 530 males, who have begun commercial farming training.

This year’s theme for Nane Nane exhibition is ‘Youths and Women are Strong Foundation for Sustainable Food Systems’.

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