THE government has commended two pension funds, PPF and NSSF, for uniting various groups including youth and farmers in the implementation of a grand sugar project in Morogoro Region.
The move according to area residents, will increase economic opportunities as well as solve long outstanding land disputes pitting pastoralists and farmers.
Speaking during the official launch of the sugarcane farm, which focuses on training various agricultural outgrowers groups in Kilosa District, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled, Jenister Mhagama said that through the Mkulazi Holding Company, the two pension funds will help the groups access loans for agriculture through Azania Bank which they own by over 90 per cent.
"I thank all the stakeholders in this project and I will report to President John Magufuli that the pension funds in collaboration with Azania bank have not only strengthened the country's economy, but also helped in solving various disputes facing farmers and pastoralists, that is why we can witness farmers and pastoralists working together in the project," she said.
The Minister advised all youth countrywide to grab opportunities obtained from huge projects that are currently being implemented in the country, including the Standard Gauge Railway and the Hoima- Tanga oil Pipeline, promising to help whoever is willing to sail in that boat.
"I have been fully enticed by groups of youth who are fully committed to participate in this project and I want to equally request Azania Bank management to make sure that they help these groups to access loans," she said, commending the bank for agreeing to help the agricultural groups. Speaking on behalf of the groups, Mr Lawrence Mkondo, who comes from pastoralist group said the unity exhibited by pastoralists and farmers, who were initially enemies was a welcome move, saying they had decided to unite so as to boost implementation of the project.
Mkulazi Holdings Company Board Chairman, Prof Godius Kahyarara who is also the NSSF Director General and his PPF counterpart, Mr William Erio said the construction of the Mkulazi sugar factory which is located at Mbigiri area in Morogoro Region is expected to kick off next week, urging more farmers to come up in bigger numbers to participate in the project.