The call for the government to revisit and formulate anew its policy and regulatory frameworks on agriculture could not have come at a better time. The overriding objective is to create a much stronger 'ally' for Tanzania's industrialisation agenda. This would, should help Tanzania to effectively lift itself up by the bootstraps into a middle-income economy as envisaged in the National Development Vision-2025.
Arguably, agriculture and industry are 'inseparable twins' in the social-economic development stakes. Indeed, it was only fortuitous that the industrial revolution came about when it did, revolutionising the Economy from an 'agrarian and handicraft' mode into one dominated by industry and mechanised manufacturing.
Today, though, many manufactories rely on agriculture for their inputs (in agro-processing, etc. - just as agriculture itself relies on industrial products not only as agro-inputs, but also for farm machinery and related wares.
For a country like Tanzania to effectively transform for the better its struggling Economy, it must reform the existing basic agricultural structures and related frameworks.
In other words: agriculture and industry are mutually inclusive - if only in the sense that the two must 'go together' by natural law and by human design!
Hence the call by the Agricultural Non-state Actors Forum (Ansaf) urging President John Magufuli's administration to draft afresh the national agriculture policy so as to further unlock the sector's phenomenal developmental opportunities.
This is why we also counsel in earnest that the government should revisit not just the policy, but also all agriculture-related regulatory frameworks - including especially on stifling taxation, haphazard extension services, underdeveloped irrigation-farming, whimsical market restrictions, creaky linkages, value-chains...
This is principally with a view to bringing efficacious agriculture closer to ongoing industrialisation efforts.