Morogoro — Livestock and Fisheries Development minister Luhaga Mpina has directed the National Ranch Corporation (Narco) to revoke contracts with three investors owning 68,000 hectares of land.
The investors are Farm Company Limited, A to Z Animal Feeds Company, and Ereto Livestock keepers association.
Narco entered an agreement with the investors to run ranches in Morogoro and Tanga regions but, according to the minister, they have failed to develop them.
The minister also directed the investors to pay all the debts they owe the government.
Mr Mpina reached the decision yesterday after visiting the ranches and revisiting the contracts, whereby he said the agreement with Overland and Narco was seen to deny the government sufficient earnings from the land value of 19,000 hectares and the available infrastructure.
The minister directed that the investors must pay all debts they accrued before handing back their land to the government.
He also directed Narco to review borders in all ranches accross the country in order to avoid land disputes.
In August the government, through the permanent secretary in the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Development (Livestock), Dr Mary Mashingo, revealed that it had plans to repossess 105 ranches after their owners had proved failure in developing them.
Dr Mashingo made the revelation when her ministry officials appeared before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee. She said the government conducted a special evaluation of all ranch blocks and established that some investors had totally failed to develop the properties.
Meanwhile, Mr Mpina formed a team to probe why Tanzania Meat Corporation (TMC) was making losses. He made both decisions yesterday.
The company is jointly owned by the National Investments Company Limited (Nicol) by 51 per cent and Narco by 49 per cent.
Speaking after his tour of the factory, Mr Mpina said TMC had been making losses for the past five years.
"Maybe Nicol, who are co-owners, have been gaining something, but for our part, we haven't been gaining anything. That is why I have decided to form a team to investigate the factory and its performance," said Mr Mpina.
He noted that the team would begin its work on December 8 and would comprise officials from the Attorney General's Office, the ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, the Treasury registrar and Narco.
"If the team finds out Nicol doesn't have the capacity to run the facility or it has violated the terms of contract, the government would repossess it," he noted.
The team has been given five days to investigate after which it will submit its report to the minister.
For his part, TMC manager Nashon Kalinga said the company had management issues, which had already been resolved.
Narco's acting managing director Prof Philimon Wambura echoed the minister's call for review of the contract to ensure the government benefitted from it.