Where agriculture funding goes

DODOMA: THE Government said the 2024/25 agriculture budget implementation will mainly focus on executing projects in all regions of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, including the Tanzania Food Systems Resilience Programme and the Agricultural Inputs Support Project, which aim to increase production and food security.

According to Finance Minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba in the agriculture sector, 1.379tri/- has been allocated to fund projects’ implementations.

Tabling the 2024/25 National Budget in the Parliament-Dodoma, on Thursday, Dr Nchemba noted that in the agriculture sector, President Samia Suluhu Hassan assumed power when the country had only 726,000 hectares under irrigation schemes since independence.

Within three years of her leadership, new projects shot to cover 543,366 hectares worth 1.18tri/- being implemented, 14 large dams are under construction and 22 feasibility studies for irrigation schemes are completed, the finance minister stated.

In the seed sub-sector, certified seeds were only 22 per cent and reached 78 per cent within three years of her leadership with a goal of reaching 100 per cent by 2026/27.

In terms of food reserve, the country’s reserve capacity was only 250,000 tonnes and increased to 500,000 tonnes. On average, the exports have increased from 1.2 billion US dollars to 2.3 billion US dollars.

In 2023/24, food sufficiency has reached 124 per cent, and it is expected to reach 130 per cent by 2024/25.

“What does it entail!!? Mama walks her talk!!!” Dr Mwigulu elaborated. Furthermore, in recognising the importance of the crop sub-sector, the Sixth Phase Government has continued to increase the sector’s budget from 294bn/- in 2021/22 to 970.8bn/- in 2023/24.

An increase of budget facilitated implementation of the Second Phase Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP II), aimed at enhancing crops productivity, supporting smallholder farmers, improving food security and nutrition and increase the sub-sector’s contribution to the GDP. Correspondingly, the Government provided fertiliser subsidy amounting to 389.9bn/-.

When tabling the 2024/25 ministry’s budget, Minister for the docket, Mr Hussein Bashe reiterated government’s commitment to continue investing in agriculture infrastructures with the aim of transforming the sector into a modern, commercial, highly productive area to increase its contribution to the economic development.

According to Mr Bashe, the participation of the private sector in agriculture value chain is central in formalising and empowering smallscale farmers to produce commercially.

He said the investment in agriinfrastructures is panacea for attracting private sector investors into the agriculture value chain thus creating more jobs and increased farmers’ income.

ALSO READ: Agriculture financing policy in offing, says Bashe

Mr Bashe outlined the government’s commitment to bolstering agricultural production, enhancing irrigation infrastructure, expanding access to markets for agricultural goods, and empowering small-scale farmers nationwide.

“The government is not only committed to attract new investments but also encourage local and quality investments that will make agriculture sector more productive and enhance its contribution to economic growth,” he said.

This proactive stance by the government to improve the agriculture landscape is commendable, as it paves the way for private sector entities to capitalise on the new opportunities and contribute to the growth of the sector.

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