19 March 2014

Tanzania: Subsistence Farmers 'In Abject Poverty'

Dodoma — THE Draft Constitution has proposed ways to improve people's living conditions especially in rural areas.

Addressing members of Constituent Assembly (CA), the chairman of Constitution Review Commission (CRC) Judge Joseph Warioba said that while collecting views from people, many of them talked at length about the nation's vision. One of the pressing issues raised was the land issue.

They claimed that it was becoming easier for government land officers to allocate land to foreign investors instead, of giving it to the local wananchi.

"In some areas there are some persistent conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers, and national conservation authorities. People face problems including agricultural farming inputs, prices for their produce and availability of extension officers," he said.

He gave the example of a cotton farmer in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region, who said the government had failed him, because though he was promised agricultural inputs, he never got it and he ended up suffering the loss.

According to judge Warioba, both food and cash crop farmers face problems. Livestock keepers lack land for their cattle, while fishermen do not have allocated areas where they can run their activities.

Judge Warioba further explained that a research done by his commission had revealed that social security funds were only established to benefit the employees, while farmers live in misery in their old age because such funds do not have some provision for them.

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