Samia forms council to oversee food, agriculture

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has formed a Presidential Food and Agriculture Delivery Council, which will be in charge of overseeing the country’s food and agriculture delivery compacts’ implementation.

In addition, she has appointed former Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda to lead the council, with two other council members and three members of its secretariat.

The formation of such councils is part of the agreement reached at the Dakar 2 Summit on Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience that took place in Dakar, Senegal, from January 25-27 this year.

According to a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications, members of the council are Chief Executive Officer for Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) Centre Limited, Geoffrey Kirenga and Andrew Masawe, retired Permanent Secretary.

Those appointed as members of the council secretariat include Dr Florence Turuka retired Permanent Secretary and Lecturer at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Dr Jacqueline Mkindi Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA) and Dr Mwatima Juma Chairperson of Tanzania Organic Agricultural Movement (TOAM).

It is planned to launch the council in Dar es Salaam on the 17th of March, this year at the State House.

Tanzania has clearly laid out its agenda and priorities for agricultural transformation in multi-year, multi-sectoral strategies, including the third National Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III), Pathways for Sustainable Food Systems 2030 and the Agenda 10/30.

The country’s food and agriculture Delivery Compact prioritises four value chains and four key investment areas.

The four value chains compact priorities are to close wheat deficit of over 90 per cent and reduce import bill of about 221 million US Dollars, another one is edible oil where the government has set a production target of 3 million tonnes of sunflower by 2025, from which 1 million tons can be processed and sold locally and in export markets.

Other areas are increase horticulture production by 40 per cent from the current production of 7,560,010 tonnes in 2019/2020, on beef and dairy the target is to produce 742,000 tonnes of red meat per year, and significantly reduce the current import bill of milk and dairy products by doubling the current annual domestic supply from the current 75, 573,250 litres to 150,000,000 per year.

To achieve these targets, the Compact will scale up investments in the following four priority areas:Irrigation and mechanisation, quality inputs (Certified seeds and fertilizers), Value  addition,  agro-processing,  logistics  and  storage, as well as Building  a  Better  Tomorrow  (BBT-YIA) project.

To  address  the  challenge  of  low  sector  performance,  the  government  has  launched  “KilimoBiashara”- Agenda 10/30, which aims at transforming agriculture into a business. It is aimed at the agriculture sector (crop -sub sector) to grow by 10 per cent by 2030.

Among other things, FYDP III envisages the government’s vision and strategy for strengthening food systems in Tanzania.

The plan views agriculture as an important driver of industrialisation through provision of raw materials to the processing and manufacturing sectors.  Strategic objectives contemplated in the plan include increasing value and productivity of agricultural production, employment creation, enhanced diversification of products and strengthened value chains.

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