Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

13 November 2012

Tanzania: Farming Drive a Big Success - Prime Minister

Photo: Kate Holt/Irin
Tanzania has made equipping farmers with implements a primary concern in a drive termed "Kilimo Kwanza" meaning Agriculture First (file photo).

Dodoma — IMPLEMENTATION of the country's major agriculture modernisation drive 'Kilimo Kwanza' is going on well and so far 1,860 tractors have been distributed to farmers, while plans are underway to secure 3,000 others for the same purpose.

A member of the CCM National Executive and Central Committees, Mr Mizengo Pinda, told delegates to the ruling party's National Congress here the drive aimed at ensuring that more than 80 per cent of farmers in the country have access to farming inputs."We are talking with the Indian government on the possibilities of securing a loan amounting to 92 million dollars from which we will procure some 3,000 tractors, that we will distribute to farmers in addition to 1,860, which are already distributed to farmers," he said.

Mr Pinda, who was reading the report on the implementation of the CCM manifesto, further called on farmers to be sensitive in the way they use the tractors and adhere to technical advice to make the tractors durable."Our aim is to ensure food security and make sure that 80 per cent of Tanzanians who are mainly rural dwellers and farmers are getting farm inputs," he said.

He welcomed the involvement of the private sector in various aspects of the economy and decried the tendency to demonise them (investors).He said the private sector has invested more than one trillion shillings in the economy and created employment to the tune of 16,000.Mr Pinda added that the government's commitment to establish Agriculture Bank was alive and that resources were being mobilised to meet the targets of the required capital which is 500 million dollars.

He called on the politicians and government leaders to lead by example by investing in agriculture. "We can't continue to tell farmers to increase their efforts in agriculture whereas we leaders don't even have a one hectare of farmland," he pointed. He said that without massive investment in agriculture, it would be impossible for the country's economy to grow as planned.

In another development, Mr Pinda noted that the efforts to modernise agriculture went in tandem with the government's efforts to strengthen cooperative unions. "The cabinet has proposed that we establish a commission that will specifically deal with cooperative union matters. This will to a large extent improve supervision in the area to ensure efficiency," he said.

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InFocus

Tanzanian Farming Drive to Enhance Food Security

Tanzania has made equipping farmers with implements a primary concern in a drive termed

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has called on the government and the private sector to invest further in farming during a drive to improve access to modern agricultural inputs. Read more »