Dar es Salaam — Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said that Tanzania can reach its agricultural potential if it prioritises on transforming the sector by heightening political commitment, increase public investment levels, increase public financing and encourage more partners to invest in it.
Speaking during the fourth edition of the Mwananchi Thought Leadership Forum (MTLF), themed: "Agriculture, Our Lifeline", on Thursday, May 23, the organisation's Representative to Tanzania Fred Kafeero said that agriculture, being the key driver to economic growth, effective in poverty reduction, eliminating hunger and malnutrition, the country had the opportunity to join the world in reducing poverty.
He said that Tanzania is part of the broader global community and therefore, it is obliged to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2030), the African Union's Agenda 2063 (The Africa we Want), Africa's commitment to end hunger by 2025 and the 2014 Malabo Declaration.
"All these frameworks call for Tanzania to focus on areas that will contribute to the realisation of its potential. This is by considering raising the sector's budget, which is still inadequate to make a significant impact," said Mr Kafeero.
He further argued that the government has a key role to play in encouraging various stakeholders to work collaboratively if it is to amplify the sector's contribution to sustainable economic growth.
"In realising this, the government as an enabler and coordinator of all other stakeholders in implementing the venture to eradicating poverty and malnutrition, it should open doors for development partners both local and international such as NGOs, private sector, researchers and academia," he said.
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He said that FAO looked at the sector in its broad sense including livestock, fisheries and forests and will continue supporting Tanzania in various ways to strengthen its capacity to improve agricultural sector.
"FAO will continue to disseminate proven good agricultural practices for a more productive and nutrition sensitive agriculture that will strengthen farmer's resilience to climate change.