Zanzibar — SHORTAGE of farm inputs and seeds for farmers may hamper efforts to achieve food self-sufficiency, legislators have warned.
Mr Jaku Hashim Ayoub (CCM -Muyuni) was among the members of the House who complained that farmers in Zanzibar still lack inputs particularly in rice farming. Responding to the concerns, the Minister for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Suleiman Othman Nyanga admitted that there has been shortage of farm inputs during the rice-growing season.
"We had a shortage of seeds, pesticides and weed killers due to the high demand from the increasing number of farmers," the minister said. Giving example of high demand for seeds, the minister said in the House that 322 tonnes for rice seeds was given to farmers, up from 124 tonnes supplied last year.
Suleiman also said that delays in harrowing and ploughing of land was due to bad weather after the heavy rains which caused stagnation of water in fields making it difficult to use tractors.