How govt prepares for rain shortage 

IMPACT of climate change have continued to wreak havoc as the weather forecast has indicated that rains will be recorded below average in many parts of the country, a situation which is likely to affect production   in various sectors  including agriculture .

Other sectors which are likely to be affected include energy, water, exports, economic growth, individual incomes, activities of the various corporations and government in general.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa disclosed in Parliament, yesterday while winding up the 10th parliamentary meeting, noting that in dealing with the situation, the government has continued to take various steps with a goal of increasing production and productivity in food and cash crops.

“The government has embarked on awareness programmes on extension farming for food and cash crops, strengthening irrigation farming as well as distribution of  farm inputs particularly fertilisers in increasing productivity,” said Mr Majaliwa, indicating that 175,829.3 tonnes of fertilisers worth 192.5bn/- had been distributed by December 2022.

He observed that the government was going on with construction of 25 new irrigation schemes in different parts of the country.

Besides, rehabilitation and the finalisation of infrastructure of 30 irrigation schemes was still ongoing, noting that during the   2023/2024 and 2024/2025 financial years , the government was planning to construct 15 dams for harvesting rainwater.

“Feasibility studies of the schemes were still ongoing,” Mr Majaliwa said.

In line with this, the government through Building the Better Tomorrow (BBT) programme has continued with coordinating the preparation of block farming which will be installed with irrigation infrastructure in ensuring   production activities are carried out throughout the year.

According to him, the crucial steps are geared towards ensuring food security, job creation for youth and availing surplus food for export.

Tanzania is among countries whose food supply chain is relied upon in the region, the PM said, urging farmers in the country to develop a habit of reserving their crops instead of selling their entire produce at the farms.

Similarly, the Premier appealed to the farmers to make use of formal systems of trading their produce, a move that can help them curb shortage of food in near future, stressing that  farmers should also employ simple ways  of adding value to their  products rather than selling them while they are still raw.

He, however, asserted that access to food and availability will continue to be strengthened by including food crops which are non-cereals like cassava, bananas, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes and others by January 31, this year.

Mr Majaliwa noted that in some areas such as Kagera, Mwanza, Geita and Mara regions which have been blessed with timely Vuli rains, they have experienced a favorable harvest of crops like maize and beans, thereby strengthening food availability within the country.

“We are in the production season; some areas are experiencing timely and average rains while some are not…the situation of crops in the areas which have experienced Vuli rains between September and October is good and have reached a good stage,” he said.


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