23 November 2016

Tanzania: Cereal Produce for Beer Banned

Dodoma — Regional authorities have banned the use of staple foods such as maize to brew alcohol.

Regional Commissioner Jordan Rugimbana has directed district commissioners to work closely with local leaders to enforce the directive so that all food harvests are preserved for consumption and not used for making alcoholic beverages.

Mr Rugimbana said farmers in the region continue to defy the government order to cultivate more drought resistant crops like cassava, sweet potatoes and millet.

During his tour of Chamwino District, speaking at Chiboli, Fufu and Suli villages, the RC said: "You need to listen to experts who have warned that our region will receive inadequate rains this season, and thus, you must cultivate drought resistant crops," he cautioned.

The 2016/17 Report on National Food Production and Security by the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has projected that Dodoma and a few other regions are likely to face famine if stern steps are not taken.

According to the Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (TDHS) 2012, micronutrient deficiency in the region was relatively high among women of child-bearing age, with 40 per cent being anaemic and 36 per cent do not have enough iodine in their diets, causing complications in pregnancies.

Generally a semi-arid zone, the region often receives scant rains of between 400 and 800 millimetres per annum and only half of the region's land is arable.

Crops grown in the region include maize, rice, sorghum, bulrush millet, finger millet, pulses, cassava, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, beans and cow peas.

Sunflower, ground nuts, cabbages, tomatoes, spinach, chillies and sugar cane are also grown here.

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