Tanzania: 'Unchecked Population Rise Fuels Land Crisis'

THE Second vice President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi has advised residents in Zanzibar to practice family planning as an important way to control population growth which contributes to land crisis in the Islands.

He said cultures and religion promote family planning by emphasizing proper breast feeding; therefore one can either go for the traditional way or for hospital family planning because both lead them to control birth.

Mr Iddi said that the almost three per cent population growth has led to land crisis, including invasion of land for agriculture which pose a threat to protection of the environment and implementation of land master plan.

That second vice president delivered this message during the opening of this year's farmers' week, organised for the first time ahead of their national Day (NaneNane) on August 8, 2018, which aims at promoting farming in the country.

"We have insufficient land for development, including settlement and farming, which is why we have to adopt workable plans for land use to avoid food shortage in the islands. Our experts are helping us to properly manage our small land," said ambassador Iddi.

He said everyone including people in town areas should be engaged in agriculture so that Zanzibar can achieve its goal of producing surplus foods, particularly rice. He thanked farmers, saying "Farmers here have been doing well as the food and vegetable production has increased from 111,887 tons in 2016 to 357,932 tons last year. But we need to practice modern farming- for consumption and for sale."

At the NaneNane farmers' exhibition week being held at Kizimbani Institute of Agriculture, the Second Vice President informed the gathering that farming remains a good opportunity for job creation, urging youths to engage in it.

"Youths including graduates from higher learning institutions should get into the business, it pays," Amb Iddi said as he invited investors in livestock keeping and fishing to establish processing industries. Amb Iddi appealed to teachers to motivate young people and students to admire farming by visiting the ongoing 'NaneNane celebrations at Kizimbani' where they can learn about agriculture.

Deputy Principal Secretary (PS) - Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and fisheries, Mr Ahmad Kassim Haji said the 'Nanenane-2018 week in Zanzibar' is aimed at encouraging farmers to double productions and people to buy local products.

At least 83 civil society organisations and individual farmers are taking part in the exhibition as the Minister for Agriculture, Natural resources, Livestock, and fisheries, Mr Rashid Ali Juma promises that the trade fair will be conducted annually starting this year.

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