10 August 2014

Tanzania: PM Discourages Mixing Politics With Development

Mwanza — THE Prime Minister Mr Mizengo Pinda has strongly warned over what he termed as leaders entertaining politics when dealing with serious national issues especially now as the country invites investors.

PM Pinda said on Friday here as he officially closed the Nanenane exhibitions for Lake Zone that leaders have to shun playing political games that might discourage investors from introducing their investments in the country.

He was particularly saddened by poor contribution recorded by the cotton sector in the economy of late, demanding for the players to iron out their political and ideological differences to make the crop thrive.

"I am told there is a lot of misunderstanding in bringing about anticipated revolutions in the cotton industry. It is high time you put political games aside and strive hard to revamp it," said the PM.

The Premier said there was no way cotton can contribute significantly to the economy without embracing new technology in its farming as well as inviting the private sector to chip in.

He said more players should be welcomed to supply inputs and seeds unlike the present where only one company is enjoying the monopoly of supplying cotton seeds.

Mr Pinda directed stakeholders to meet and thoroughly conclude on other pending issues like contract farming, seeds and inputs but cautioned them to be careful in handling them to avoid worsening the situation further.

He challenged farmers in the Lake Zone to transform their agriculture and pastoralists changing their livestock into money with simple calculations, indicating that if they sell at least 50 per cent of their stock they can earn more than 2trl/-.

"Tanzania has about 23m cattle and 30 per cent of them - 6.5m- are in the Lake Zone alone. You can make a lot of money if some of these cattle, sheep, goats and pigs are sold out instead of feeling proud of just keeping them," he noted.

He commended the organizers of the Agri-business expo for 2014, but said the Lake Zone area with over 200,000 square kilometres can do wonders in agriculture revolution than the current pace.

On other crops like banana, he said Kagera is recording a lot of progress in improving the harvests as it manages to fight the banana disease, but the remaining challenge now is finding reliable markets.

The event which attracted a capacity crowd at the Nyamhongolo grounds was also attended by the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Mr Godfrey Zambi who underscored on the formation of the farmers cooperative unions.

He said without farmers organs like Saving and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS), it will always be difficult for financial services to reach, hence they will remain poor.

Three District Councils emerged winners in this year's exhibitions with Magu District Council scooping the overall award, Ushetu District Council from Shinyanga region being the second while Musoma Municipal Councils went home as the third winner.

The Lake Zone Nane Nane exhibitions is taking place here for the second time following its establishment last year and plans are underway to make the future shows more international, attracting participants from all countries forming the Great Lakes Region.

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