Tanzania assures FAO cooperation to realise food security 

TANZANIA: PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa said Tanzania will strengthen relations with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other stakeholders on addressing issues related to agro production and blue economy for the country’s sustainable food security.

He made the statement on Monday on behalf of President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan during the World Food Forum’s (WFF) Agrifood Systems in Rome, Italy.

Mr Majaliwa said joint efforts with FAO and other stakeholders will contribute to enough food availability, increase income and create jobs, while advocating for sustainable economic development to safeguard the planet.

He said so far, the agriculture sector in Tanzania grows at an average of five per cent annually, while contributing about 26 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 24 per cent of export earnings.

Mr Majaliwa said despite the aforementioned achievements, the sector’s growth rate has fallen short of targets set by development plans, leading to the development of the Agenda 10/30 roadmap, to accelerate the implementation of the Agriculture Sector Development Programme Phase Two (ASDP II).

“The Agenda 10/30 roadmap aims to drive sustainable growth of the sector to 10 per cent by year 2030 from the current rate of five per cent by promoting private sector investments in the agriculture sector, facilitating youths and women participation in agri-business and increasing agricultural export value from the current 1.2 billion US dollars to 5 billion US dollars,” he said.

He said to realise the Agenda 10/30 targets, the government invests in key priority areas such as irrigation and water efficient technologies, increased access to agro inputs, improved seeds production, research and development and concretising application of digital technology in extension services.

He said the government is further harnessing the potential of the blue economy, storage and market infrastructures and agro-processing.

Mr Majaliwa said in regard to the set priorities, the government has increased budgetary allocations for the agriculture sector from 88 million US dollars in 2020/2021 to 420 million US dollars in 2023/24.

Once again, he said the government is scaling up infrastructure development including railway, road network, rural electrification and investment in agro-inputs industries such as fertiliser, while leveraging digital technology including on planning, monitoring and evaluation and payment systems via mobile platforms.

He said the government is committed to attracting more workforce in the agriculture sector by coming up with the Building a Better Tomorrow (BBT) programme, which intends to facilitate youths and women access to agricultural land, technology, finance and linkages to markets.

“The programme is implemented under public-private partnership through block farming model. The programme will generate over 1.5 million employment opportunities while contributing to food system resilience,” he said.

On boosting the livestock sector, he said the government is improving access to livestock breeds with high productivity, strengthening pasture and water services.

“Despite ranking second in Africa in terms of cattle population, livestock-related activities contribute only 7.4 per cent to Tanzania’s GDP and growth of the livestock sector at 2.6 per cent is low, this growth largely reflects increases in livestock numbers, rather than productivity gains” he said.

He said Tanzania is also improving extension services; strengthening livestock research and training service, value addition of livestock products and transformation of the national ranching.

Mr Majaliwa said the country is also upgrading the fisheries sector by enhancing private partnership, promoting adaptive management to have sustainable fisheries resources and ensuring research-oriented extension services.

He said the government harnesses potentials of the blue economy by including promoting cage-fishing  and aquaculture, constructing a new fishing port, joint ventures in deep sea fishing and cooperatives for small fishermen.

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