Tanzania: Ministry Targets Zero Post-Harvest Loss

THE ministry of agriculture is looking forward to curbing post-harvest loss from current loss of between 30 and 40 per cent to 0 per cent, by strengthening partnership with the private sector.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Gerald Kusaya, pointed out that failure to adhere to best practices of agriculture on the side of farmers has been leading to post-harvest losses.

Some of the factors include improper selection of seeds or not knowing characteristics of the particular seeds and improper uses of fertilizers.

"We need to have total control of post-harvest losses and assure reliable markets for our agricultural products," Mr Kusela said over the weekend in Dar es Salaam, while gracing an event to mark the 5th anniversary of the Malembo Farm Agricultural Consultant.

The organisation, apart from investing in agribusiness inspires and provides consultancy to people, particularly youth over agribusiness.

The permanent secretary noted that Tanzania's agricultural sector still has numerous opportunities in its value chain and called upon the youth to venture in agri-business.

"We see there the future is bright for the youth through efforts by private and public sectors," he said, adding that the government currently puts in place better enabling environment for the youth.

The government has directed all councils to set aside some pieces of land for youth to cultivate, where the ministry in charge would be facilitating by providing, among others technical assistance.

"Where we are heading towards the right direction and we want to have billionaires in the agricultural sector too," Mr Kusaya stated.

On his part, Executive Director of the Malembo Farm Consultant, Mr Lucas Malembo, said their organisation has done several things to rejuvenate the agricultural sector since it was established five years ago.

However, he appealed to the government to continue putting in place some enabling environment for the youth to participate in agricultural production.

Equally, he argued that the sector, if well utilised, can employ a big population of the youth in the country, saying: "Tanzania still has enough piece of land for agriculture, with statistics showing it has 44 million hectares of arable land ready for cultivation."

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