By a CORRESPONDENT, 7th September 2010 @ 16:00, Total Comments: 1, Hits: 5528
IT is now one year since ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ initiative that seeks to attain green revolution in Tanzania was launched. This year’s Nane Nane event was a unique opportunity not only for sensitizing Kilimo Kwanza and the underlying ten pillars but also for providing a platform for communicating and creating common understanding on roles and responsibilities in implementing it.
Kilimo Kwanza is an ambitious government initiative that aims at revamping agricultural sector and uses it attaining strong and viable economy for the country’s development. This year’s Nane Nane celebrations were a success, not only by a large number of people and institutions that attended, but also by giving a rare opportunity to Tanzanians who visited the festivals to and became aware of successes, challenges and how they can actively participate in this noble initiative.
Giving his key address during the climax of the festivals, President Jakaya Kikwete expressed his contentment on what has been achieved so far in one year since Kilimo Kwanza was launched and in his first five years as President of this country. “I am grateful to see that we
are moving forward in the areas of agriculture, livestock and fishery,” he said. President Kikwete said that green revolution was not a farfetched idea and that what is needed is good policies at place and hard work toward set goals.
The President challenged researchers and innovators to make sure that farmers access technology at an affordable price. “Bear in mind that you are dealing with poor people, make sure they benefit from your innovations and research endeavours,” he says. The President said that the government is doing whatever it takes to make green revolution a reality. Already, the government has signed and ratified an ambitious Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) in July this year.
According to the president, this programme which is in line with the country’s Kilimo Kwanza initiative seeks to help African countries reach a higher path of economic growth through agriculture-led development. CAADP’s goal is to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty through agriculture. To do this African governments have agreed to increase public investment in agriculture by a minimum of 10 per cent of their national budgets and to raise agricultural productivity by at least six per cent.
This year’s agricultural budget has increased to 8.1 per cent of the total 2010/2011 budget which stands at 11.1trn/- , a step seen by stakeholders as a clear sign of the government’s resolve to revamp agriculture sector. Also, the budget for building irrigation infrastructure has increased from 21bn/- from 2009/2010, to 23bn/- this financial year. Already the government in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has completed the Comprehensive Guidelines for Irrigation Scheme Development under District
Agricultural Development Plan.
The government has also put in place mechanisms for funding irrigation schemes by starting the District Irrigation Development Fund (DIDF) and the National Irrigation Development Fund (NIDF) run by the government and donor community. Also, the government would in the 'Kilimo Kwanza' spirit rehabilitate and construct 25 irrigation schemes for 18,000 hectares this financial year. This will also involve construction and rehabilitation
of eight irrigation dams with the capacity of storing sufficient water to irrigate 3,250 hectares.
According to the Executive Secretary of Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC), Mr Dunstan Mrutu something should be done at lower level of administration so that to sustain the achievements already met and further move forward. He argues that officials at government institutions, district councils and other middle class government cadres should strive to change their mind sets for better implementation of Kilimo Kwanza initiative.
He says that if government institutions would strongly inculcate Kilimo Kwanza ideals in their programmes would greatly help spearhead this initiative to higher levels for the benefit of the country. “Officials at government institutions should understand that Kilimo Kwanza initiative is the best way available to lift the majority of Tanzanians out of poverty, they should use this opportunity to accomplish that noble duty at their workplaces,” Mr Mrutu says.
He explains that one year after the initiative, it has been difficult for some district council officials to understand and work toward supporting the initiative that seek to attain green revolution in Tanzania. “Some officials at district councils are slow when it comes, for example, at apportioning land to investors who have met required requirements,” he says. He explains that if really Tanzania wants to attain green revolution, bureaucracy should stop and that those old ways of doing things on part of some few officials should not continue.
Mr Mrutu also castigates some critics who say that Kilimo Kwanza is a mere politics that would achieve nothing. “If it is a politics, it is a good politics; let them come with an alternative strategy that would help uplift the majority of people out of poverty,” he says. Visiting the festivals, the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Regional Administration and Local Governments, Mr Aggrey Mwanri hailed efforts undertaken by the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) in making sure that the Kilimo Kwanza initiative becomes a success in the country.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank TNBC and the private sector at large for working tirelessly in making sure that this initiative succeeds,” Mr Mwanri says. Mr Mwanri says it should be understood that the government has not put aside other agricultural initiatives like “Siasa ni Kilimo” and “Kilimo cha Kufa na Kupona,” but what is taking place under Kilimo Kwanza is giving a new vigor and coordination to all agricultural
programmes for the best results.
“We cannot forego these programmes, what we are doing now is better coordination
so that we all go to the same direction with the same force and zeal,” he says. He says that the government has decided to do all it takes to develop agriculture sector that sustain more than 83 per cent of the population in Tanzania. “We want to move to commercial farming, subsistence one cannot enable us forge ahead,” he explains.
The Minister for Local Government and Regional Administration, Ms Celina Kombani who also visited Nane Nane festivals reminded Contractors Registration Board (CRB) and other professionals that they have a duty to play in attaining the county’s resolve to attain green revolution. “We have money to build irrigation infrastructure, but we lack competent expertise to do the job. We badly need competent engineers now,” she says.
The Minister explains that the government can do everything, but if infrastructure network is weak, no tangible results would be realised. She says the government is working on the rural roads, bridges and irrigation infrastructure so that a farmer should benefit directly, adding that this is the reason why the agricultural budget has been increased this year. On his part, the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mr Isdori Shirima challenged urban planners to set aside special Green Belt areas meant for horticultural activities.
According to experts, Tanzania has a large potential for the production of tropical, subtropical and temperate fruits, vegetables and species because it has a wide range of agro-climatic zones. Tanzania has the potential to produce 2,000,000 metric tons of fruit worth at least 1 trillion shillings or about 1 billion US Dollars and approximately 1,200,000 metric tons of vegetables annually valued at 600bn/-.
Mr Shirima explains that there is plenty of land in urban areas that need to be utilised well and that there is no need for urban dwellers in Dar es Salaam, for example, to depend vegetables and fruits from Tanga and Morogoro regions. “Fruits and vegetables are on great demand not only in Tanzania but also outside,” Mr Shirima says. According to the RC, the strategy for horticulture expansion must be market oriented and that all activities and programmes need to be predicted on crops and market chains for which there is a demonstrable
The RC castigates those who grab large chunks of land and monopolise them undeveloped for long time as well as land speculators, saying that this derail Kilimo Kwanza initiative. The Principal Officer, Financial Leasing at Tanzania Investment Bank (TIB) Ms Betty Massanja said that people who own land but do not have means to develop them can get help from the TIB’s financial leasing arrangement or monetary loans through a special agricultural window. She explains that investors in agricultural projects have the potential to benefit from being leased working equipments such as tractors with a special and easy arrangement with TIB.
Explaining further on Ms Massanja’s point, the Chairperson of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Ms Esther Mkwizu says commercial banks in the country have a vital role to play in making sure that the government’s Kilimo Kwanza initiative becomes a success. According to her, commercial banks should view agriculture as a viable business able to ensure better returns especially at this time when the government is focusing its energy in attaining green revolution. “The private sector view commercial banks as partners in spearheading agriculture development in this country,” shesays.
Ms Mkwizu says that the private sector through TPSF continues discussions with commercial banks in the countryto see how they can finance agricultural projects in Tanzania.Ms Mkwizu urges people who want to invest in agriculture to access Tanzania Investment Bank’s (TIB) where they can, with well written proposals, get capital to invest in various agricultural projects. The government through TIB has opened a special financing window specifically for helping farmers access capitals at a low interest rates of between 4-8 per cent.
Total Comments on the above stories (1)
Although Kilimo Kwanza is a good policy that furnish most of people's desire on their livelhoods but it seems that a lot of Tanzanian is less benefited to the policy, as the policy stand for improving the agrc mostly in rural areas, but how abt the prices of their commodities?can we say we're just increasing output production without considering the external market? since it's seems now dat we're enough satisfy that's why we allowed now to export. Well we're succesed in eradicating the main problem of hunger in most of regions but there are other regions which stil hv a problem.
Advice:Let's improve our infrastructure so dat those places with plantiful food/agr product being distributed to places with scarcity.:
Dickson Eliahu. Mzumbe University.
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