Lindi — The Vice-President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, yesterday maintained that the government is doing everything in its powers to deliver quality services to Tanzanians, insisting that every citizen must engage in both social and economic activities for the country's better future.
"We understand that Tanzanians trust the Fifth Phase Government. We will make sure we improve services to all Tanzanians regardless of their tribes, regions or colours," the VP said during the official closing of the Nanenane Exhibitions at Ngongo Grounds in this municipality.
She asked Tanzanians to support the Fifth Phase Government's initiatives in speeding up development in the country. "I would like to ask all Tanzanians to support this government's strategies, which aim at bringing positive changes to Tanzanians. All citizens must pay tax as required so that we can realise our goals of becoming a middle economy country by 2020," she stressed.
According to Ms Hassan, the government has been setting strategies to improve the country's economy through various sectors, including agriculture.
The vice-president advised district councils in Lindi and Mtwara regions to maintain the Ngongo Exhibitions Grounds so that they can be used to provide training to farmers in the area. She said there was need for authorities to maintain the grounds so that farmers could learn from modern farms that have been established in the area.
"I would like to advise the district councils to make sure these grounds are not closed after the Nanenane Exhibitions; the farms and gardens in this area must be maintained for training farmers from various areas in the country," she directed.
Ms Samia further noted that the government will continue with its efforts of empowering farmers by creating enabling environment for the sector which employs majority of Tanzanians to be more lucrative. The VP said the number of extension officer has increased from 3,379 in 2005/2006 to 8,076 in 2016.
She said the government is embarking on offering trainings and offer employment to extension officers every year so that they can help farmers to improve agriculture production in the country.
Moreover, Ms Samia added that the government has set strategies to improve seeds production through SUMA JKT and Prison Department. She said seed production has so far increased from 10,477 tonnes to 12,640 tonnes by 2016.
The vice-president said the government, through the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank Limited (TADB), has managed to boost agriculture by offering loans to farmers and thus enable them to improve production. "TADB has enabled many farmers to improve production; most farmers can now produce for commercial and consumption.
This is a big improvement," she noted. On livestock, Ms Samia said the government has increased the number of veterinary officers with diploma certificates from 2,451 in 2015 to 2,500 in 2016, while those with certificates have increased from 1,034 in 2015 to 1,466 in 2016.
She said by June, this year, at least 1,471 veterinary officers graduated at certificate level in various colleges in the country. According to Ms Hassan, until June, this year, there was a shortage of 8,725 veterinary officers across the country.
On fishing and fish farming, the vice president said the government has been supporting and promoting fish farming in the country. She said that the number of fish ponds has increased from 21,300 in 2014/2015 to 22,500 in 2015/2016.
The ceremony was attended by Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Charles Tizeba, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage, Zanzibar's Minister for Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fishing, Hamad Rashid, Mtwara Regional Commissioner (RC), Ms Halima Dendegu and Lindi Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Godfrey Zambi.
Speaking to citizens, Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Mpango asked all Tanzanians to pay tax as required so that they can participate in building up their country's economy.
He said he is tired of begging for aid and support from donors and that it is high time Tanzanians learn to pay tax for the betterment of their nation. "I am asking you to pay tax; I am tired of begging from donors.
We must build and own our economy," he said. Mr Mwijage said Tanzanian farmers have a big role to play in building up the industrial economy.