Zanzibar — IN an effort to increase the number of experts in various fields including agriculture, the Second Vice- President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi, has called upon Zanzibaris to enroll in local institutions of higher learning.
Addressing students, staff and other invitees at the opening of a students' hostel at Kizibani Agricultural Training Institute (KATI) in Zanzibar, Ambassador Seif said there was a shortage of experts in the country because local training institutions are not fully utilized.
As an example, Ambassador Seif said that it may cost 57m/- for a degree student in the UK, the amount which is sufficient to train several students at home (Zanzibar/Tanzania) for the same level of education.
The function was among a series of events to mark the 49th anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution climaxing on Saturday. "We are now facing a shortage of experts in the agriculture sector. For instance, there is a demand for 287 Agriculture Extension Officers, but only 141 are available. To meet our goal of improved agriculture, we should have enough skilled personnel and equipment," said Seif.
The second vice-president thanked International Funds for Agriculture Development (IFAD) for supporting the construction of the hostel, emphasizing that Zanzibar's agricultural revolution should include developing the institute. More than 399m/- was spent on the construction.
KATI offers general agriculture certificate course focusing on principles of crop production and animal husbandry and how to provide support to peasants. However, according to the Principal Secretary (PS), Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism Mr Affan Othman, the plan is to upgrade the institute to produce first degree students in agriculture.