TPHPA bullish on revenue collection target

DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA Plant Health and Pesticides Authority (TPHPA) has collected 6.1bn/- from their internal sources equivalent of 95.2 per cent of the annual target in the current fiscal year, its Director General, Professor Joseph Ndunguru has said.

He told media editors and senior reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that they are optimistic they will surpass their collection target of 6.4bn/- .

“It is evident that by the end of the fiscal year, the Authority will be able to collect more than 100 per cents of the estimated amount, thus increasing its remittance to the central government,” said Prof Ndunguru.

He outlined six strategies, including investing in research, to boost productivity in agriculture and bring about transformation in the sector.

TPHPA Director General, Professor Joseph Ndunguru told media editors and senior reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that more investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) was crucial in efforts to transform the sector.

“The first thing is to invest in research because research itself shows that every dollar you invest in research will generate ten times the profit for you and this profit can be seen in four areas: increased productivity, improved food security, reduced prices of agricultural products and decreased negative environmental impacts,” said Prof Ndunguru at a meeting organised by the Office of Treasury Registrar to communicate performance of state-owned entities.

He said that following decision by the sixth phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s to increase the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture by four folds from 270bn/- to 970bn/-, significant investments have been made in research, which has helped in production of improved seeds and strengthen modern agricultural infrastructure especially in irrigation.

Prof Ndunguru also highlighted the importance of utilising science, technology and innovation in agriculture to contribute to the supply of raw materials for industries.

Prof Ndunguru said the TPHPA has been embracing and using modern technology for data collection and processing through various systems, as well as using drones for conducting pest surveillance and pest-risk analysis to control plant pests, birds, and destructive insects such as locusts.

They have also established modern agricultural laboratories and provided training on the use of information communication technology to farmers and extension officers.

Furthermore, Prof Ndunguru emphasised the need to strengthen collaboration between the government and the private sector.

He said the authority has been collaborating with various government, private and international institutions such as Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), European Union (EU), World Food Programme (WFP) and other stakeholders in its operations.

“In October 2023, the Authority received various equipment from FAO, including seven vehicles (Land Cruisers), 19 motorcycles, 20 drones, 41 Galaxy tablets, 17 mini lab inspection tables, 17 under-counter lab mini refrigerators, 34 desktop computers, 17 Wi-Fi routers, 17 Ethernet switches and 17 illuminated magnifiers, with a total value of 833,440 euros, equivalent to 2.2bn/-,” said Prof Ndunguru.

Moreover, Prof Ndunguru emphasised the importance of improved infrastructure, including physical and soft infrastructure, throughout the entire agricultural value chain, from farms to processing and up to reaching consumers.

He also stressed the importance of enhancing trade by creating a favourable business environment to facilitate trade of agricultural products in which, he revealed that the government has already established the cold room facilities at the country’s ports to facilitate the export of quality produce.

“We have our laws, regulations, and guidelines to facilitate and streamline the trade of agricultural products. When you export more, you earn foreign currency,” he said.

Prof Ndunguru said TPHPA has been controlling pests that damage crops, such as rodents, locusts, and destructive birds, to help in reducing post-harvest losses.

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