MEMBERS of the House of Representatives from a committee on Agriculture, Trade and Tourism have asked the Tractors and Farms Machineries Services Agency (TFMSA) to help farmers produce more rice.
“Farmers face many technical challenges which can be addressed if you visit them, as experts. We ask you to be close to farmers so that they can get knowledge and advice,” one of the members of the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Trade and Tourism said when they met with TFMSA management.
Mr Ali Suleiman Ameir, Chairperson of the House Committee said that promoting better use of tractors and other machineries in agriculture was their task, which should go along with educating and advising farmers on how to increase production.
TFMSA Executive Director Affan Othman Maalim said to the committee members that availability of tractors and other farm machines helped to improve and increase rice production in the isles.
He said application of modern technology in rice irrigation had increased rice production over the last 20 years.
“This upward trend of rice production from 15,935 tonnes in 2005 to 46,472 tonnes in 2019 is an encouraging and this needs to be maintained.”
The Zanzibar government, in collaboration with the World Bank and the Exim Bank of South Korea, has invested about $70m to increase annual rice production from 46,472 tonnes in 2019 to 80,000 tonnes by 2024.
Investment is set to increase over 200 per cent of irrigation infrastructure in Zanzibar from about 810 hectares in 2019 to 2,457 hectares in different parts of Unguja and Pemba.