TWO Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the country have presented their recommendations and pre-budget analysis for 2023/24 financial year to three parliamentary oversight committees, ahead of the Ministry of Agriculture budget tabling scheduled for Monday next week.
Agricultural Non State Actor Forum (ANSAF) in partnership with ActionAid Tanzania presented their recommendations to the Parliamentary Budget Committee, Local Authorities Accounts Committee (LAAC) and the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
According to ANSAF Executive Director, Honest Mseri, the pre-budget analysis presented to the lawmakers intended to provide an overview of the agriculture sector performance, previous budgets implementations, interventions by governments and other actors (including private sector, CSOs, donor community), policy issues that need reforms, challenges in budget implementation, and the recommendations for the government in the year 2023/24 budget focus.
“The recommendations intend to influence both government and private sector investments to the sector and promote the transformation through growth and income generation and employment creation,’’ he noted.
The analysis was prepared by ANSAF in collaboration with other development partners (ActionAid Vi Agroforestry, Embassy of Finland Dar es Salaam, Foundation for Civil Society, Alliance for Green.
Revolution in Africa, European Union, Sweden Sverige and Agri-connect), generally show that even though agriculture sector contributes substantially to economy in terms of employment, exports share, food, and industrial raw materials, its priority based on resources allocation still face challenges, among them budget execution.
“The main challenges that deter agriculture sector development include, but not limited to: disbursements not constant and sustainable for key investment areas; low proportion allocation of resources to the development activities; lack of strategy for sustainable government interventions in inputs (e.g., fertilisers subsidies); low investments in agriculture affect the sector growth and food security; little investment for addressing the climate change variabilities; and insistency of fiscal policies affect the investors decision- making, especially in manufacturing industries (agro-processing),’’ said Mr Mseri.
In their recommendations, the two NGOs proposed that the 2023/24 budget should focus on establishing strong systems such as large-scale farming and cooperatives for high productivity of cereal crops (maize, rice) to address the issue of food insecurity.
Also, they recommended that budget allocations to key agriculture areas should correlate with the sufficient disbursements to the same for high results realisation.
Among others, they also recommend that development of long-term policy for agro-processing enterprises is of paramount importance to enable them to have predictable investment decisions, and that the government should continue to protect domestic sunflower oils industries, through tariffs until when they become competitive.