Dodoma — Plans are well underway to procure commercial fishing vessels as the government's strategy to embrace green economy based on sustainable fishing.
The plans were unveiled in parliament here yesterday when the legislators debated the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries before endorsing the 267.8bn/- for the ministry in the 2017/18 fiscal year.
The ministry envisages spending over about 156bn/- on development projects and 112bn/- in recurrent expenditures.
The green economy aims at reducing envi ronmental risks and ecological scarcities as well as aspiring for sustainable development without degrading the environment. It's closely related to ecological economics, but has a more politi cally applied focus.
On Monday evening, the debate in the National Assembly at tracted great interest, with some MPs pinning the government over why it was dragging its feet on going green through the pur- chase of own fishing vessels to utilize marine resources.
The Minister, Dr Charles Tizeba, had to calm the curious lawmakers, saying the govern- ment was on the process of pro- curing the vessels.
"The government will buy the fishing ships. We are at a good step but I didn't mention it here because we are still cooking," he told lawmakers.
He however noted that the government welcomes the pri- vate sector to invest in fishing activities, saying the government alone cannot do everything.
During the debate, Abdallah Ulega (Mkuranga-CCM) asked the government to think of green economy, arguing that the country is endowed with abundant waters for fishing. He said the fishing economy has a major role to play in the national economic growth.
"Fishing industry is vital to the economy.
The government should buy the big fishing vessel," he insisted. National Assembly Chairman Andrew Chenge who was presiding over the meeting noted that the issue of the green economy has been repeatedly spoken in the House.
"It's critical for our country... we are glad that you (minister) have given us hopes," said Mr Chenge. Meanwhile, Dr Tizeba told the National Assembly that the government will impose stern measures against importers of fake seeds, which have been subjecting local farmers to huge losses.
"It's the matter of introduc- ing stern measures against the culprits who collude with government officials to import fake seeds.
We will jail them," he stated. Responding to the MPs' concern over low budget allocation to the institutions responsible for agricultural researches, the minister said the research centres also get funds from sources other than government's budget.