PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has authorised use of military trucks to transport maize from Ruvuma Region, where another bumper harvest has been recorded this season to the national food reserve headquarters in Dar es Salaam.
Addressing a public rally at Maji Maji grounds in Songea District on Friday, President Kikwete also assured farmers of a reliable market of their harvest, whereby a kilogramme of maize would fetch 500/- above the previous price of 450/- a kilo.
"Since the store rooms of the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) in Songea are well packed with the previous harvest, transportation of grain to the main NFRA godown is necessary without delay.
Army trucks will be used for the purpose," Mr Kikwete said. Proper delivery of the grain consignment, he added, was absolutely necessary to create storage space for the new harvest ahead of purchase season which starts early next month.
"The reason behind my visit (Ruvuma) is to inspect development projects and encourage farmers and other production units to work harder," he said.
The president also expressed delight for the impressive work accomplished by farmers and NFRA for timely collection and storage of the harvest to guarantee the country of food security. also informed the public about food shortage in neighbouring Kenya and South Sudan, where arrangements were underway to sell the maize to both countries.
He declared the commitment by the government to support farmers' efforts for well-timed purchase of their harvest as Ruvuma Region was among seven others which cater for the national basket fund with high agro-production levels.
As for education development, the president instructed all regional and district commissioners in the country, district council authorities to make sure that all ward secondary schools were furnished with laboratory facilities to open more opportunities for science subject students.
President Kikwete also issued directives to the Ministry of Works to construct to the tarmac level the stretch between Songea Girls and Ndilimatembo area. He said the job should be ready before end of next year.
The instructions followed a request by the legislator from the area, Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi who called for the attention.
Among projects inaugurated by the president was a new NFRA godown, 18 low cost houses constructed by the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and the regional office for the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) In attendance were ministers, deputy ministers, legislators and other government officials.