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Moshi municipal director lists hurdles to agricultural development

She said agriculture is mostly practised in the semi-urban setting namely Msaranga, Karanga, Kaloleni, Longuo, Kiborloni and Rau, adding that total land used for agriculture is 748 hectares of which paddy is grown on 118 hectares, vegetables on 15 hectares and other crops such as maize, sunflower, bananas and beans are cultivated on six hectares.

Ms Kinabo revealed that apart from growing crops, people also rear livestock whose population is, according to 2002 census, 3,556 cows, 7,554 goats, 282,968 chickens, 531 cats, 1,002 turkeys, 1,500 dogs and 8,335 pigs.

"There is only one abattoir at Bondeni ward that needs major rehabilitation while in other wards people use privately owned slabs for slaughtering cows, goats and pigs," she said.

According to the director, farmers have been encouraged to form groups to better access available services such as training and marketing of various products, saying the Agriculture Sector Development Programme is also playing a great role in improving agricultural activities in the municipality.

Meanwhile, all land around Moshi municipality is traditionally owned and the government recognizes this form of ownership through the Land Act of 1999, Ms Kinabo noted.

She said due to serious land shortage and the fact that most of the available land is under high value crops such as coffee and bananas, land owners have been unwilling to cede their land to Moshi Municipal Council for expansion and development.

Instead they prefer selling their land to private developers at relatively higher prices leading to growing squatters in suburbs, thus making it difficult for provision of public social services such as power, water, sewerage, proper drainage systems and road construction.

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Author: PETER TEMBA in Moshi

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