Bashe outlines measures to avert food insecurity

FOR Tanzania to be able to sustain itself in the near future, the government has to put in place long term strategic plans in agriculture.

This was said in the National Assembly here on Monday by the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Hussein Bashe, when he was tabling the ministry’s budget estimates for the financial year 2023/24.

Mr Bashe has requested the August House to approve 970,785,619,000/- for the ministry’s budget, which is an increase of 29.24 per cent compared to 751,123,280,000/- that was approved by Bunge for the 2022/2023 financial year.

The minister said out of the 970,785,619,000/-, a sum of 767,835,139,000/- is for the development projects, while 112,019,631,000/- is for recurrent budget.

Mr Bashe assured the House that the country is food self-sufficient by 114 per cent. He said in 2021/2022 financial year, food production in the country stood at 17.14 tonnes, compared to 15.05 tonnes produced in the 2022/2023.

He said that estimate of food demand in the country by 2030 will be 20 million tonnes and in 2050 it will be 33.7 million tonnes, saying that this situation poses a challenge to the country.

“I would like to inform the August House that according to the trend of population growth in the country and in the world, by 2050, our country will have a population of 136 million people and the world will have a population of 9.7 billion people. During that period, food production in the world is estimated to decrease by 4 per cent, while real food demand is projected to increase by more than 50 per cent,” he said.

He said that risk number one for the nation will be climate change which causes a decrease in the production of food and thus endangering the stability of the country’s economy and security.

The minister said that to be safe in this area, Tanzania must continue to invest in strong and sustainable agricultural systems that use modern irrigation technologies. He further said the country must have ability to preserve natural seeds and conduct research to obtain better production technologies of seeds to ensure food security and protection of the country’s economy.

He said in order to improve resilience for food and nutrition security, the government has increased its ability to store food from 251, 000 tonnes to 506,000 tonnes, adding that currently, the government has started a feasibility study for the construction of storage infrastructure which will increase the storage capacity to 3,000,000 tonnes by 2030.

“The goal is to ensure that our nation has the ability to store food enough to sustain for at least six months when a disaster occurs, in order to protect our economy, our dignity and our freedom,” Minister Bashe said.

He said that the ministry through Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority (TFRA) planned to coordinate replacement, production and distribution of 650,000 tonnes of fertiliser for the agricultural season 2022/2023 ending in June 2023, saying that until April 2023, the availability of fertilisers has reached 819,442 tonnes, which is 126 per cent of the target.

Of this amount, he said 75,399 tonnes was produced in the country, 617,079 tonnes were imported and 126,964 tonnes was the remainder of the 2021/2022 season.

He said the ministry through the Tanzania Fertiliser Quality Control Authority (Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority – TFRA) has reviewed 1,492 fertiliser dealers, saying the inspection found violations of the Fertiliser Law involving some businessmen in the country and measures were taken against all those found to have violated the procedures.

He said the ministry in collaboration with Equity for Tanzania Limited (EFTA), Hughes Agriculture Tanzania Limited (HAT) and CRDB Bank have entered into an agreement that will enable farmers in the country to get tractor loans without any collateral, which he said will increase the number of farmers in the country, adding that so far 200 tractors have been purchased with the aim of lending them to farmers.

“Until April 2023, the ministry in collaboration with the sectoral ministries and the private sector have made it possible to find opportunities for new markets for Tanzanian produce abroad, including cashew market in the United States, where 74.19 tonnes of cashew nuts worth 455,729.95 US dollars have been sold,” he said.

Apart from cashew market, he said that 62 tobacco markets were secured in Japan, saying that these markets have resulted from the participation of the ministry and the private sector in conferences, trade fairs and investments in various countries including Japan, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Germany, India, Qatar and Italy with the aim of promoting products and investment areas in the agricultural sector.

Related Articles

Back to top button