Tanzania: Farmers Urged to Defy Covid-19 Threat

THE Minister for Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Mmanga Mjengo Mjawir has urged farmers to properly utilize the current rain season to plant, particularly fast-maturing crops to boost the country's food security.

The minister encouraged the farmers to defy the disruption of Coronavirus pandemic and work diligently to improve their production.

"Coronavirus pandemic is attempting to disrupt our normal life, let's fight to win it. Having sufficient food in the country is another weapon. I ask farmers to continue growing crops," the minister said in a statement to farmers.

He said despite challenges caused by the COVID-19, other activities such as farming must continue, particularly in crops which mature in a short time, "We have rain now; Let us use it."

Mr Mjawir said there are many farmers who can grow crops during the ongoing rains in their respective areas, including vegetables and fruits for home consumption and for income. He said it is also an opportunity to cultivate drought-resistant crops such as sorghum and cassava among others.

Several farmers, including Mzee Ali Hassan reacted to the minister's call, saying it is an important reminder, but still in some areas the rains are insufficient, with a shortage of extension officers who are important in advising farmers. "But we are doing what we can with the available rain," he said.

Mr Hassan observed that the government should do more to stop the spread of COVID-19 because it is a big threat to the well-being of the people, and it can also affect agriculture.

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