TANZANIA: HUGE food crop surplus in Njombe, Iringa and Ruvuma Regions will increase foodstuff exports to needy African countries and raise prospects of realizing President Samia Hassan’s dream of ‘Tanzania can feed Africa’ by 2030.
Speaking here on Thursday during a two-day meeting seeking to increase crop production in the three regions, Njombe Regional Commissioner Antony Mtaki said a sharp increase in food and cash crops production in those regions is no longer a far-fetched idea but a probability if stakeholders will cooperate with the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) and help small farmers to adopt proper crop husbandry.
He said SAGCOT has enormous experience and ability to pull small farmers into conventional agricultural activities. The meeting was attended by representatives of the public and private sectors in the three regions. They reviewed progress made in implementing resolutions adopted in 2022 and adopted 2023 resolutions.
“Tanzania can feed Africa is President Samia’s dream and it is now a serious agenda of the government. SAGCOT is an experienced and delivering agricultural stakeholder. I hope SAGCOT understands President Samia on this agenda,” he quipped. The agenda entails raising production of food and cash crops and registering food crop surplus for export.
The RC said President Samia is very keen on increased crop production, explaining that that is why subsidized fertilizers are being distributed to farmers.
“The current political will to increase agricultural production is supported and defended by the president herself. She wants to see 68,000 bore holes drilled countrywide and dams created in appropriate places. This is a grand vision of the head of state. We, in Sagcot have to understand her well and help in realizing this vision,” he said.
SAGCOT’s Head of Clusters and Relations, Ms Maria Ijumba, reported that evaluation of 2022 efforts revealed that small holder farmers “increased by eight-fold — from 100,000 to 847,385.” She also said agricultural and livestock keeping activities have been instrumental in poverty alleviation, job creation and in attracting new investments.