BRITAIN has thrown its weight behind supporting President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete's Big Results Now (BRN) initiative which targets six key sectors of the country's economy in realizing rapid development.
Visiting British Permanent Under-Secretary and Head of Diplomatic Service at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Simon Frazer poured praise on the BRN saying it was a good vehicle towards realizing rapid growth.
"We are supporting the Big Results Now because it is good for accountability in future," said Sir Frazer who earlier met President's Delivery Bureau (PDB) Chief Executive Officer, Omari Issa. He said they had discussed a number of issues with Mr Issa and Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue regarding implementation of BRN initiative.
The BRN programme is designed to speed up development activity in six key sectors including agriculture, education, energy, finance, transport and water. Commissioned by President Jakaya Kikwete last June, the BRN initiative is former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamed's brain child.
The Commonwealth adopted BRN from Malaysia and its over 50 member states leaders agreed to implement the initiative in early 1990s following successful implementation in the Asian nation.
Last July, the UK's Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds visited the country and signed a High Level Prosperity Partnership with the government focusing on four priority areas including oil and gas, agriculture, renewable energy and improving the business environment.
"Our investment in gas and renewable energy will help bring reliable and sustainable electricity to more Tanzanians. Our investment in agriculture will help bring better technologies, improved yields and more markets for the produce, including the UK," Sir Fraser noted. The UK is the largest foreign investor in the country with a stake of 35 per cent while featuring as number two in donations with 480bn/- allocated for this financial year. The visiting UK Under-Secretary also met with officials from Tanzania Investment Centre and Tanzania Private Sector Foundation among many others.
British High Commissioner in the country. Dianna Melrose said her office is already in talks with the government and private sector on skills development to meet demand in oil and gas subsector which is attracting many foreign companies.
"We are looking at using some aid and grants to fund these initiatives," said Ms Melrose who paid tribute to Kilombero Plantation Limited, a British agro-business company focusing on hybrid rice production for helping to improve lives of ordinary farmers in Morogoro.
"With support from this company, smallholder rice farmers have managed to increase their yields and quality of their rice," she noted saying more of similar investments as targeted by Kilimo Kwanza will have a huge impact on farmers and the country's economy.
KPL which has earned praises from senior government officials including Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda has managed to organize smallholder rice farmers into groups, trained them in modern crop husbandry practices, provided them with inputs including hybrid rice for planting and eventually market outlets for their produce.
Yields at Mngeta village where KPL has its integrated rice farms, have increased from two to seven tons per hectare and the produce is direct purchased at farm gate by the company and shipped to domestic and international markets.