New zeal in agri reforms

  • Samia seeks Indonesia expertise in agri-technology

DAR ES SALAAM : PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan’s zeal to transform the agriculture sector in the country is poised to receive major boost from Indonesia’s experience in agri-technology and massive palm production.

During her meeting with the visiting Indonesia President Joko Widodo at the Magogoni-based State House in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, the two Heads of State agreed to work closely in fostering cooperation in various sectors, key of which is agriculture.

President Samia also expressed her appreciation of President Widodo, who is in the country for a two-day state visit, for the investment made by Indonesian state-owned company, PERTAMINA in energy sector at Mnazi Bay Natural Gas in Mtwara Region.

After the bilateral talks, President Samia and her guest addressed the press and witnessed the signing of 11 Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs).

Among others, President Samia was impressed by Indonesia’s decision to revamp the Farmer’s Agriculture and Rural Training Centre (FARTC) in Mkindo, Morogoro Region.

“Our two countries have been cooperating mainly in agricultural sector. In 1996, Indonesia established a Farmers’ Agriculture and Rural Training Centre in Morogoro. The centre has contributed greatly to our aspirations to educate farmers and train experts in the field. I welcomed the decision by the government of Indonesia to revive the centre’s activities,” she said.

President Samia reaffirmed the readiness of Tanzania to host the fourth session of the Joint Agriculture Cooperation Committee (JACC) later this year.

“Indonesia being the world’s largest palm oil producer, during our bilateral meeting, I have expressed to the president on my country’s desire to draw from the Indonesian experience on palm oil production by establishing cooperation in this sub sector in order to revive our palm oil industry,” Dr Samia said.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Indonesia produces more than 30 million tonnes of palm oil per year, generating 4.5 per cent of its GDP and providing employment to three million people.

Apart from the call to match economic relations with the political impetus, President Samia requested from the visiting president expertise, capacity building and technical know-how in reforming and transformation of the agricultural sector through applied technology and mechanisation through the already existing platform of JACC.

She also highlighted involvement of the private sector in major infrastructure development; effective and efficient management of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), saying Indonesia has among the most efficient state owned enterprises in the likes of PERTAMINA.

President Samia also called on support on digitisation of the country’s economy and development and increase of human resource capacity.

Dr Samia also said that Indonesia has been an all-weather ally and valued partner for all seasons over the years and is among the first countries to open a fully-fledged embassy in Tanzania just after the country’s unification.

“Even after the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1964, our two countries have remained partners with a strong desire to solidify and transform our long standing political partnership into economic partnership guided by the Bandung Spirit emanated from the Bandung Declaration of 1955.

“In our deliberations, we agreed to deepen and strengthen the existing bonds of friendship and cooperation politically, socially and economically for the benefit of the people of our two countries,” she said.

President Samia also said that during their meeting, they noted that despite strong diplomatic ties between the two countries, more can be done to unleash and utilise available opportunities in social and economic sectors by boosting trade and investment sectors, and bring on board both the public and private sectors through public-public and public- private partnerships.

“We have further agreed to enhance our cooperation in manufacturing, agriculture, energy, mining, oil and gas, fisheries, tourism and hospitality industry, knowledge-sharing programmes and technology transfer,” she said.

The two presidents witnessed the signing of 11 MoUs, including MoU on the establishment of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation; Agreement on Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic Passports and Service Passports and MoU on Health Cooperation.

Others are MoU on Trade Cooperation; MoU on Defence Cooperation; MoU on Energy Cooperation between the Ministry of Energy of Tanzania and its Indonesian counterparts; MoU on Energy Cooperation between TANESCO and PLN as well as MoU on Mining Cooperation.

Also in the list were MoU on Livestock Cooperation; MoU on Agricultural Cooperation; and MoU on Development of Blue Economy, Fisheries and Aquaculture.

President Samia expressed her hope that under these MoUs arrangement, the two countries will open a new chapter for deeper cooperation for the mutual benefit of people in both countries.

“I call upon both parties to remain committed in the implementation of these agreements. I assure you of my personal commitment and that of my government in honouring the signed MoUs,” said President Samia.

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