Bukoba — THE Kagera Regional Commissioner Fabian Massawe has strongly warned unfaithful tax collectors who tarnish the good name of the government through collecting undue crop levy.He sounded the warning following reports that small-scale entrepreneurs, some carrying a single bunch of banana were being charged almost2,000/-.
Also, transporters ferrying banana, maize consignment and beans from Karagwe and Biharamulo districts were being double taxed on transit.He elaborated that the law governing crop levy stipulated that transporters would pay such levy at points of entry only and while on transit they should show the receipts and allowed to proceed to Bukoba Municipal market.
Mr Massawe, who was recently nicknamed "Mulokozi" by Kagera residents, urged the youths to form co-operative farmer groups and register them to get tractors from SUMA JKT on credit terms.
"The time for using hand hoe is over. Farmers, especially youths, should be mobilized to form cooperative groups and utilize the abundant fertile soils in Muleba, Ngara, Karagwe, Kyerwa and Ngara districts for improved mechanized farming. This is the only hope to save people from poverty," he said.
He noted that sunflower crop had been earmarked as an alternative cash crop to the traditional coffee. He noted with concern that Singida region which is a drought area was far ahead in income per capita compared to Kagera region which is blessed with annual rainfall and fertile valleys suitable for irrigation purposes.
He has directed each council in Biharamulo, Misenyi, Ngara, BukobaRural, Muleba, Kyerwa, Bukoba Urban and Karagwe districts to ensure that they purchase 50 tractors before the end of next month.He said the tractors were being sold at affordable price at 17m/- while customers would get them on credit by paying 30 per cent down payment and the balance in a four year period.
He has also directed the Kagera Cooperative Union (KCU), Karagwe District Cooperative Union (KDCU) and Biharamulo Cooperative Union (BCU) to buy the tractors and distribute them to the farmers through their Primary Cooperative Societies.
Meanwhile, reporters in Kagera Region have been urged to write more business and economic related news, to enable the farmers at the grassroots level to improve their standard of living.Also, they should write news and feature articles on crops being produced by the farmers and market outlets where the farmers can easily sell their crops.
Veteran business journalist, Mnaku Mbani, made the call in Bukoba Municipality on Thursday during a four-day business training being attended by 18 participants who are members of the Kagera Press Club (KPC). He challenged the reporters to avoid what he termed as "so and so ....has said....." stories and instead focus on business and economic news and features which, he said, were more marketable and profitable to most people.
KPC Executive Secretary, Phinias Bashaya, said the training would empower the reporters with skills on business reporting and how to dig deeperon business related news.The training was organized and funded by the Union of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC).