21 November 2012

Tanzania: Relief Food Stranded in Mpanda

Mpanda — MORE than 10,000 tonnes of maize at the National Reserve Food Agency (NFRA)'s centre in Mpanda town, Katavi Region, are stranded because there are no cargo trains to transport them to central and lake zone regions whose residents are experiencing food shortages.

A further 5,200 tonnes of maize which have been stored in open air at the NFRA centre in Mpanda due to shortage of storage space are likely to be destroyed by rain water particularly during this rain season.

Rains are coming down in most parts of the region. The stranded quantity of maize is part of the 20,000 tonnes which have already been transferred from the Sumbawanga NFRA storage facility to Mpanda. It is destined for the Central and Lake Zone regions.

According to the NRFA Rukwa Regional Manager, Mr Amos Mtafya, the NFRA storage facility in Mpanda has capacity for handling only 5,000 tonnes of maize. Mr Mtafya made the revelation during the official closure of transferring 20,000 tonnes of maize from Sumbawanga to Mpanda which was carried out by Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) soldiers using their military motor vehicles.

The exercise took three months. It was accomplished on Monday. Mr Mtafya further said that in a quest to ensure that the stranded food stocks are ferried to their final destination, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, though NFRA have contracted Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) over provision of special train that would transport the maize.

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