YESTERDAY ‘Sunday News’ reported on page two that Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) plans to award excellent agricultural stak eholders, who contribute to the country’s economic growth.
The awards, which are in 40 categories, will be presented for the first time in the country. TCCIA, therefore, is interested in stak eholders, who excel in agricultural innovation and are able to bring about change in the sector.
This was said by TCCIA Executive Director Fatuma. She said, the awards were scheduled for April, this year, and aimed at attracting more investors in the sector of agriculture and developing modern farming skills and k nowledge in best agricultural practices.
We think that this is a brilliant plan that has to be emulated by others in other sectors. We think it is brilliant because agriculture employs more than 75 per cent of Tanzania’s work force and so if agriculture gets the attention it deserves it means crop yield will increase as well as farmers’ incomes and create food security in the country.
There is nothing we can be proud of lik e having enough food for the people and raw materials for industries. Tanzania is endowed with rich arable land, which if wellinvested in, will uplift farmers’ livelihoods and contribute significantly to the national economy.
As Tanzania envisions becoming an industrial and middle-income economy by 2025, it is good we engage in soul-searching to ensure we utilise available opportunities as best as we can.
That is why we see what TCCIA has done makes a lot of sense in this regard. The sector of agriculture is important for industrial and middle- income economic status in the sense that it will pave the way for more raw material and processing industries and will also create jobs.
Raw materials are needed to feed our industries so that we may export only finished products and not raw materials as we have been doing all these years.
So, more investors are needed in the sector of agriculture and TCCIA awards will for sure bring new impetus in the sector. P erhaps this should have been proposed a long time ago.
As P resident J ohn Magufuli has time and time again insisted with regard to investment in the mining sector, we need to have a win-win situation if it turns out that foreign investors become interested in agriculture.
If we do this, we will avoid land grabbing as it has been done in many parts of Africa and developing countries.
Land grabbing is part of what is being referred to as the “resource curse” or the “ paradox of plenty”.
So, we wish TCCIA good preparations that start March 6- 27 , this year, to give time to farmers, organisations and individuals to utilise this opportunity.