IRINGA: IRINGA Region experienced a remarkable increase of agriculture sector’s production to over one million tonnes in 2023 from 800,000 tonnes per year before President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan assumed office.
The rise in crop production is due to the modernisation of farming through increased use of fertiliser and extension services championed by the six-phase government with the aim of moving from subsistence to commercial production.
Iringa Regional Commissioner, Ms Halima Dendego told a press conference on that the region has reaped big in three years under Dr Samia, who assumed the presidency in March 19, 2021.
She attributed the success to the introduction of government’s subsidised fertiliser given to farmers, with fertiliser utilisation in Iringa increasing to 47,000 tonnes last year from only 19,000 the year before.
“As farmers use fertiliser, production goes up,” Ms Dendego said during the meeting organised by the Tanzania Information Services, MAELEZO.
She said thanks to comprehensive modernised farming practices, including increased fertiliser usage, soil testing and extension services, Iringa region produced a surplus of 400,000 tonnes in 2023.
Ms Dendego explained that the government allocated a total of nine machines for soil testing, which have been assisting farmers to cultivate seeds matching with soil nutrients of a given areas.
“Soil testing has enabled farmers to yield more from their cultivation,” she said.
In creating modern farming awareness in the region, the government added 15 new extension officers to make a total of 234 officers, who have been reaching out to farmers across the region, revealed the RC.
She said the government provided a total of 250 motorcycles, which were distributed to all extension officers to enable them to visit all farmers.
Ms Dendego said currently the region is implementing four irrigation projects at a cost of 58bn/- disbursed by the government in bid of attaining rain-non reliant farming saying the move will boost production.
She said currently only 15,000 hectares are used for irrigation from a total 51,000 hectares of land suitable for the irrigation farming.
Ms Dendego said so far, the per capital income of a resident in Iringa is 4m/-.
In another development, she said the region has been receiving an average of 250bn/- each financial year for the execution of various development projects including construction of schools, roads, hospital and electrification.
She said all districts in the region have been connected with electricity in line with CCM ruling party’s Election Manifesto 2020/2025 which envisages countrywide electrification by 2025.
Ms Dendego commended the six-phase government for continuing solving citizens’ problems and accelerating socio-economic development.