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Minister commends YARA programme to smallholder farmers

MINISTER of Agriculture Japhet Hasunga yesterday commended YARA Tanzania Limited, a subsidiary of Yara International ASA, for its recently launched programme seeking to help over 83,000 smallholder farmers get NPK fertilizer free of charge.

“I am very much impressed the way farmers are being registered,” Minister Hasunga said, calling for farmers countrywide to exploit the opportunity and better their lives.

He said YARA Tanzania through Action Africa initiative meant a lot for transforming the agricultural sector whose contribution to the national economy was of paramount significance.

Mr Hasunga said the government was committed to transform the agriculture sector and that it was ready to work with all stakeholders in the lucrative sector.

Speaking at the same venue, the Songwe Regional Commissioner, retired Brigadier General Nicodemus Mwangela said the programme among others has come at the right time when farmers were preparing to start the farming season.

“Songwe Region is among the major producers of cereal crops and with the support of YARA’s fertilizers will increase production of crops.

And, we will stand in a better chance of producing more surplus and sell to the neighbouring countries,” RC Mwangela said.

He thanked the firm for launching the programme in his region and that farmers were set to benefit dearly from the donation.

Earlier, Managing Director of YARA Tanzania, Mr Winstone Odhiambo said the donation has been made by YARA International ASA under its initiative known as Action Africa Initiative.

“Approximately 12,500 metric tonnes of NPK fertilizer will be made available free of charge to smallholder maize farmers in the hope that the farmers will apply the fertilizer during the ongoing August-December growing season,” Mr Odhiambo said.

According to Mr Odhiambo, the 16.5bn/- initiative was planned to boost maize and rice production and supply in line with Tanzania’s food security programme.

Jailus Kibona, maize small holder farmer from Mbozi District cherished the programme, saying that YARA’s fertilizers would make his dreams come true since he predicted more harvests next season.

The initiative seeks to increase use and proper application of fertilizer in Tanzania as a whole.  Proper and timely use of fertiliser by smallholders will increase their disposable income and savings would be invested in changing their lives.

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Author: Correspondent in Songwe

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