17 April 2013

Tanzania: Agriculture Bank to Prop Up Farmers

Dodoma — THE government is planning to form a national Agriculture Bank that would enable farmers and other stakeholders to acquire loans for farming development.

The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Dr David Mathayo David, said this in the National Assembly on Tuesday. Dr Mathayo made the revelation when responding to a supplementary question by Special Seat MP (CCM), Ms Easter Bulaya, who sought to know whether the government has plans to issue farmland to the youths who engage in agriculture and livestock activities.

"The government plans to parcel out farmland to youths but we are currently issuing loans to youths who need them for farming activities. The money will help them acquire tracts of land for farming and other uses of land," he said.

Meanwhile, the government has confirmed that no foreign investor has been issued plots of land for farming inside Kitengule Ranch. Dr Mathayo made the explanation in response to a basic question by MP Gosbert Blandes (Karagwe CCM), who wanted to know the number foreign investors who have been issued plots of land inside the ranch.

He also wanted to know the number of investors who had failed to develop their land.MP Blandes also sought to know the size of land needed for the use of cattle keepers in Mashubaigaguru, Kibwera, Katanda, Kihanga, Kishoju and Mlamba villages. In response, Dr Mathayo pointed out that Plot Number 288/14 was the only area whose development has since failed mainly due conflicts between the investors.

"All investors inside Kitengule Ranch are locals. No foreigner has been offered land in the area," he said. In another development, the minister said that villages require a total of 16,255 hectares of pastureland to accommodate 8,002 cattle.

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