Mpanda — KATAVI Regional Commissioner, Dr Rajab Rutengwe, has called for the protection of cooperative societies and unions across the country because they are instrumental in fighting against poverty in the country.
The RC made the call when addressing members of the Lake Tanganyika Tobacco Growers Co-operative Union Ltd (LACTU) during its ordinary general meeting held here in Mpanda township.
Dr Rutengwe said the government recognized the contribution of tobacco growers to the government through revenue paid to the councils in the region by tobacco companies.
"This cooperative union, your Lake Tanganyika Tobacco Growers Co-operative Union, must be protected by all means because it does not only benefit you but all the nation at large because it improves the lives of tobacco growers in the area," he noted.
He said he was very impressed by reports that tobacco growers in the region had realized over 21.9m US dollars (about 35bn/-) in 2013. LACTU plans to mark its 20th anniversary on November 11, this year.
However, the RC expressed concern over tobacco growers from Katavi and Kigoma regions, saying they were not benefiting from the pan-territorial prices because the mode of compensating them was yet to be operative for the past two farming seasons.
In his welcoming address, the LACTU General Manager, Mr Pius Killo, told the RC that the union planned to establish a bank to serve its members and the public at large.