Hanang — THE Environment and Livestock officer in Hanang district, Mr Masaga Shushuda, has advised the government in Manyara region to start collecting revenue from local farms as well as cattle.
According to the officer, levying large herds of cattle that keep roaming the landscape and large farms in the vicinity was the only way to solve the notorious and long-standing conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers Hanang district and other parts of Manyara region.
He recalled the recent conflicts between livestock keepers and farmers in Kiteto district which developed into serious tribal clashes, resulting in the deaths of many people.
"If you start imposing taxes on farms, many people will be discouraged to hoard large parcels of land, many of which are left idle while levying cattle will make keepers to cut down on the number of livestock.
The measure will automatically solve the conflicts between the two protagonists," stated Mr Shushuda.
He was also of the view that taxes on acres of land and herds of livestock would boost the revenue of councils, and when people start reducing the number of cattle to avoid taxation, the environment would be saved.
"People in urban areas pay property taxes to city and municipal councils, so here in rural settings it will be only fair to levy farms and livestock," the official maintained.
He pointed out that although rural councils had fewer sources of income than their urban counterparts their outreach community services were almost the same.
"We also need enough sources of revenue to fund budgets for development projects including the execution of the Big Results Now initiative," he said.
For his part, Manyara regional chairman of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Mr Othman Kalunde, said it was high time local farmers and livestock keepers were registered for insurance purposes because theirs were very risky businesses.