MINISTRY of Agriculture is in final stage to form the farmers’ database that will help the authorities to easily serve farmers with farm inputs, loans and markets access, among other needs.
Speaking during the Agriculture stakeholders’ workshop, the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Japhet Hasunga said the database will also help the government to identify the number of farmers countrywide, areas of production and kind of produces.
“The formation of the database will also serve in determining the markets’ needs and how best we can meet such demands. We all know that Tanzania has enough arable land that can bring quantity produce for local consumptions and exportation. What needed is to conduct researches and propose what should be produced, where, when and how,” said the Minister.
He advised researchers to concentrate on researching scarcity of some crops, such as sugar and edible oil, and come up with recommendations on how the country can produce a lot and stop the importation.
According to him, local industries have ability to produce only 370,000 tonnes while the demand is about 600,000 tonnes.
Again, they (local factories) do produce only 36 per cent of the needed edible oil, stressing that the country is forced to import the missing tonnes of such goods while there is enough arable land and conducive environment that attracts investors in the country.
The Minister added that the Ministry also is looking forward to ensure there is reliable insurance that will cover farmers from disasters.
The Ministry Deputy Minister, Mr Innocent Bashungwa asked researchers to come up with permanent solution on the impacts of climatic change saying the situation has been affecting agriculture production and causing losses to farmers.
The researcher from Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Dr Fortunus Kapinga commented that on his specialisation area of cashew- nuts, most researchers do focus on seeking destructive insects’ and drought tolerant seeds before moving to other steps.