21 September 2012

Tanzania: Pinda Calls for Contract Farming Boost

Mwanza — PRIME Minister Mizengo Pinda has called upon politicians and experts to look for practical ways of addressing challenges facing contract farming in Mwanza Region.

The Premier was addressing a news conference this week while winding up a week-long official visit to Mwanza and Geita regions. Mr Pinda said that all cotton growing regions have to insist that farmers enter into contract farming because this kind of agriculture is best in boosting cotton production.

"The government initiated this programme with the view to improve cotton production and help farmers boost their incomes," he said. Pinda rapped politicians who use contract farming as a political platform to gain popularity urging them to start sensitizing people on government initiatives that help in promoting productivity.

He called upon politicians and experts to settle their differences over contract farming because this is an issue of expertise; the disputes are for their interests and not for the farmers' benefit. The premier noted that there are some politicians who were against contract farming because they know that this programme cannot benefit them in terms of interests.

They have been fighting the programme so as to make sure farmers are not impressed, by the government programme, through disseminating wrong information to farmers that contract farming would benefit cotton suppliers more than them. The PM appealed to experts and politicians to come together and find a lasting solution as the disputes are counterproductive.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister earlier reiterated the need to take concerted efforts to promote tourism in Mwanza Region, as a way of attracting foreign investors. "Mwanza Region is a trade hub for the East African Community because it provides opportunities, for example, to communities around Lake Victoria in terms of business from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

PM noted that some of the government strategies are to modernise Mwanza Airport to meet international standards and to put in place an environment that will facilitate viable tourism in Mwanza. He advised the regional commissioner to find a way to promote Mwanza cultural tourism in terms of sculptures available in the region and Sukuma museum located at Bujora Sukuma culture centre.

Pinda called upon Mwanza, Shinyanga and Geita regional authorities to organize a meeting where all districts in these regions bring detailed tourism attractions that will facilitate the promotion of tourism in Mwanza. There are government efforts to upgrade Sanane into a national park with the aim to promote tourism.

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