Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal said here Wednesday while officiating the climax of this year's Nane Nane farmers day for the Central Zone, that despite such crooked leaders and senior executives of cooperatives, their numbers have continued to grow.
"Some of the leaders and senior managers are holding back the rapid growth of the cooperatives movement because of poor performance," Dr Bilal said.
He said the number of cooperative societies increased from over 2.24 million during 2010/11 season to 2.39 million last season with savings and credit societies increasing from 5,251 to 5,424 and a record increase in members from 917,889 to over 1.02 million over the same period. "This is a remarkable achievement which must be guarded jealously," he said.
Dr Bilal also said there has been significant improvement in agriculture production especially among smallholder farmers, thanks to subsidized inputs under 'Kilimo Kwanza.'
"I have seen a lot of improvement here in as far as our farming and livestock practices are concerned," the VP told hundreds of exhibitors, visitors and government officials who thronged Nzuguni Nane Nane grounds to mark the day.
He underlined that through 'Kilimo Kwanza,' local farmers are increasingly improving quality and quantity of their yields pointing out that various farm produce showcased at the fairgrounds stood as testimony of the achievements made.
Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Christopher Chiza said this year, subsidized farm inputs will be supplied to all farmers with last year's remaining stock marked specifically for easy identification.
"The government will broaden farmers benefitting from the subsidies this year following the success shown last year," Mr Chiza said. Mr Chiza said through 'Kilimo Kwanza,' government agro-inputs subsidies have assisted millions of farmers to increase their yields, hence contributing towards growth of the agriculture sector and the economy in general.