Tanzania: Investment in Agriculture Must Be Given New Push

ON Friday President Samia Suluhu Hassan made a strong appeal, calling on investors from across the world to come and invest in the country, particularly in the agriculture sector since the country has plenty of suitable arable land.

The Head of State issued the call during her meeting with the investor from Singapore who has invested close to 350bn/- in pasta, cooking oil processing and soap production industries. The investor expressed his readiness to expand investment in rice production and edible oil producing crops.

In her call President said her government is ready to cooperate with both local and foreign investors and that it has already set good environment for boosting the sector.

As it is known, Tanzania for years, has been boasting her pride of being a food basket, feeding some countries in eastern and southern Africa. With plenty of arable land that Tanzania is endowed with, no investor wishing to direct their capital in agriculture will be denied land for investment, unless proven under the country's laws to lack qualifications.

What prospective investors should understand is that the market for their produce is ready- made given the fact Tanzania continues to feed some neighbouring counties.

On top of that, an industrialisation drive that is currently being implemented calls for more and more investment in agriculture for production of raw materials to meet the growing demand that arises due to establishment of industries.

Despite boasting the pride of producing enough food crops to feed its population and some neighbouring countries, Tanzania still faces production gap in certain important crops.

Data shows the government has been spending a huge chunk of its hard currency from its foreign reserve every year to import agricultural products, a practice which is not healthy for the nation economically.

According to available information, the nation has been spending part of its foreign currency importing cooking oil, wheat and sugar while such commodities can be locally produced from crops grown in the country.

For instance, Tanzania has been spending 470bn/- annually importing edible oil while in actual sense such spending can be cut down or completely abolished by charting out strategies that can increase production of crops such as sunflower, groundnuts and palm trees.

To rub salt to a fresh wound, Tanzania spends 1.03bn/- annually importing wheat flour every year, a problem that can be solved by increasing production of the crop in the country.

If we come up with a strategic plan to boost investment in agriculture Tanzania is likely to solve a number of problems such as unemployment, poverty reduction, and saving hard currency.

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