Tanzania: Hasunga Urges Harmonisation of Agricultural Levies

The Minister for Agriculture Japhet Hasunga has directed the Tanzania Cooperative Development Commission (TCDC) to come up with a common formula for calculating levies in agricultural sector.

The move, among other things, will help to reduce complaints from the stakeholders, said the minister when winding up the cooperative unions' officials meeting here. Mr Hasunga also issued a one month ultimatum to the registrar of cooperative union who doubles as TCDC chairman, Dr Benson Ndiege to make a reshuffle of officials at the commission's headquarters.

Cooperatives unions' officials from different regions of Tanzania Mainland convened here for three days to discuss how best they can improve cooperative unions in their respective areas. He said the current system where each crop had its own levy was increasing complaints from stakeholders in the sector, adding that the levies should have one formula that would provide flat rates for all crops.

"There are others who are forced to pay 10/-, 100/- or 200/-depending on the types of crops and this makes the popular crops to be charged huge levies because we have no clear formula that would provide for uniformity," he said.

The minister further provided two months to the registrar and the commission to transfer workers from the headquarters to various regions so that only few workers could remain at the headquarters to do coordination.

Instead of many workers to stay at the headquarters, the minister said, it was prudent that they be deployed at regional and district levels so that they can increase efficiency and effectiveness in cooperative societies.

"I want you to make a thorough assessment of all deputy registrars of cooperative unions as well as officials within TCDC and whenever necessary, you need to make a reshuffle in order to increase effectiveness at district and regional levels," directed Dr Ndiege.

The minister said that problems that were occurring in the cooperative communities were caused by poor supervision and leadership lacuna within the cooperatives.

In his response, the TCDC boss pledged to work on all the directives issued by the minister in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness in cooperative unions.

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