PM warns farm inputs embezzlers

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has instructed Regional and District Commissioners to ensure subsidized farm inputs reach the targeted farmers, whilst warning against embezzlement.  

The Premier equally warned against skyrocketing of fertiliser prices, tasking the regional and district secretariats to ensure the government subsidy serves the intended purpose in their respective areas.

PM Majaliwa made the instructions on Tuesday in Namtumbo District, Ruvuma Region while addressing tobacco stakeholders, where he reiterated the government’s commitment to boost the agriculture sector for the country’s economic benefits.

Mr Majaliwa used the occasion to ask tobacco farmers to make better use of the government’s facilitation in expanding their farms as there is a good market for the crop.

“The regional authorities in Ruvuma should work closely with the ministry of Agriculture in supervision extension services for farmers to increase their harvests,” he said.

Mr Majaliwa instructed proper coordination between extension officers who are under the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government and those under the ministry of Agriculture for an improved productivity.

He also instructed the Tanzania Tobacco Board to come up with a proper strategy that will increase production of the cash crop in a bid to meet the target.

“The tobacco board should ensure the timely availability of agricultural inputs since the farming season has already begun,” he explained.

Earlier, manager of the Songea-Namtumbo Cooperative Union (Sonamcu), Juma Mwanga informed the PM that they are mobilizing farmers to increase production since there is a sufficient market for the crop.

He said they have managed to increase the number of members   to 62 in the 2022/23 farming season from 46 in the previous season.

“Also, we thank President Samia Suluhu Hassan for subsidizing fertiliser. Right now, we are able to buy the fertiliser at the price of 70,000/- per a 50kg bag,” he said, asking the government to consider employing the extension officers who will serve in the rural areas.

For his side, the Chairman of Tanzania Tobacco Board Victor Mwambasalwa said the tobacco farming has increased from 60 million tonnes to 108 million tonnes.

In Ruvuma Region, the tobacco harvests increased from 500,000 kilograms to 9.2 million kilograms in the year 2021/2022.

Member of Parliament for Namtumbo Constituency Vita Kawawa also thanked President Samia for opening the business ties with foreign countries that have been buying the tobacco from Tanzania.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Majaliwa assured the government’s commitment to continue improving provision of social services by issuing adequate budgets for the development projects.

He also asked local government authorities to supervise execution of projects being implemented by the government in their respective areas by ensuring value for money.

Expounding, Mr Majaliwa vowed that the government will not remain silent, while some civil servants engage in wrongdoings in implementation of projects.

Speaking about availability of fertiliser, the Prime Minister said that the government issued a 150bn/- subsidy to cushion the skyrocketing prices of fertiliser. 

He said five companies have been listed to supply fertiliser in Ruvuma Region.

Mr Majaliwa mentioned the companies as Mohammed Enterprises, Yara, OCIP, Premium and ETG. He said, so far, a total of 9,000 tonnes of fertiliser have been delivered in the region, out of which 2,467 tonnes have been distributed to villages.

Premier Majaliwa said the demand for the whole region stood at 67,000 tonnes, hence directed delivery of additional fertiliser into the region.

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