Tanzania lures mega investors

PRESIDENT Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan’s participation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Second Africa Food Summit is set to bring crucial investments in agriculture, a major boost to the envisaged green revolution.

President Samia attended the WEF held in Davos, Switzerland and the Second Africa Food Summit held in Dakar, Senegal from January 16- 20th this year and January 25 – 27th respectively.

Addressing a press conference at the State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday on President Samia’s latest trips, the Director of Presidential Communications, Ms Zuhura Yunus, said the Head of State managed to attract different major investors to the agriculture’s value chain.

She said at the sidelines of the WEF in Davos, which went with the theme ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World,’ Dr Samia held a meeting with the Swiss agri company, called Syngenta Agro Ag.

During the talks, the company expressed readiness to invest in production of seedlings in Tanzania.

“They spoke about how to increase seedlings production in collaboration with the private sector. The company has also expressed willingness to support the youths in agriculture,” she said.

At the same WEF, the president spoke at the meeting of the Food Action Alliance, which is a leading multi-stakeholder platform for scaling food systems innovation and impact, by mobilising collective action, partnerships and investments in leading national food systems strategies and flagship initiatives that demonstrate the best of what is possible in food systems transformation.

She assured the gathering that Tanzania was well set to make major reforms in the agriculture sector practically, mentioning among other steps taken as increasing the sector’s budget by over three times in the current financial year, as compared to the previous years.

Another effort was to introduce an initiative dubbed ‘Building a Better Tomorrow’ (BBT) whose main goal is to enhance the engagement of youth in the agricultural sector for sustainable and improved livelihoods.

Ms Zuhura said that the president used the opportunity to welcome the participants in the forthcoming meeting of the Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRI) to be held in September this year.

The meeting to be held in Dar es Salaam will bring together top leaders and about 3000 agriculture stakeholders.

On other hand, while in Dakar, the president emphasised on the role of youths in the agriculture reforms, citing some challenges as acquiring land for agriculture, capital and access to markets.

During the meeting, several resolutions were made, including that every country should finalise investment plan in agriculture as per country priorities, introducing the Presidential Delivery Council for making follow up on the implementation of the plan, to continue coordinating securing of financial resources from within and outside, as well as to continue to increase the national budget for agriculture development.

Elaborating, Agriculture Minister Mr Hussein Bashe told the media yesterday that the government has put in place different measures to contain the current skyrocketing of food prices as a result of imported inflation on farm inputs.

Mr Bashe argued that due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Covid-19 and increased fuel prices, prices of agriculture inputs such as fertilisers have gone up significantly, a situation which has increased cost of agriculture production and transportation of the produce, hence increasing food prices in the market.

For instance, he said, the prices of imported fertilisers have increased by over 200 per cent. Transport costs have also gone up to 270/- per kilogramme of maize from only 70/- previously.

To address the challenge, he explained, the government has devised short term measures including giving subsidies to imported fertilisers and fuel.

Among long-term measures, he said President Samia is expected to launch a major fertiliser factory in Dodoma, which will be producing one million metric tonnes per year, while the country’s demand stands at between 400,000-600,000 metric tonnes annually.

“Through this, in the next three to four years, we are no longer going to depend on imported fertilisers and no longer be affected by imported inflation and therefore, prices of food would automatically decrease,” he assured.

He further stated that in the next two years, the government would have operationalised almost all irrigation schemes that are being constructed during the current financial year.


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