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Simiyu strives for top farmworks investment destination

THIS year’s agricultural trade fair ‘Nanenane’ is scheduled to take place in Simiyu Region. Minister for Agriculture, Dr Charles Tizeba said recently in Dodoma that this year’s Nane Nane exhibitions will take place in Simiyu for the first time in history.

Simiyu is among the new regions in the country. The region marks sixth anniversary this year since it was established in 2012. In other words, Simiyu is still a new region among 30 administrative regions in the country and thus it needs special attention for business and investment. Being a new region, Simiyu has potential areas for investments for both local and foreign investors.

The Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Anthony Mtaka said his office invites both investors and customers to buy products that are produced in Simiyu. According to the arrangement, all five districts of the region will carefully select an area of economy with Maswa already earmarking to invest seriously in chalk production, Busega in irrigation farming and Meatu in dairy farming and meat and milk processing factories.

The rest of Bariadi and Itilima are still working on their strategic areas. The region has so far established a policy, which states that ‘buy or hire’, this means one must choose between to buy or to hire. Thus, one of the two must be done. Why you should invest in Simiyu region? The region is suitable for investment due to good climate, which is suitable for tourism, agriculture and livestock production.

Peace and political stability that offers a safe environment with low crime rates is another attractive factor for establishing investment in the region. Thus investors have no reason to worry for the safety of their investment in the area. Moreover, hardworking and inexpensive local communities with adequate skills in modern farming practices to support the growth of industries.

Another major factor that assure investors of reliable support in the establishment and development of various investments in the region. Transport links with other regions and proximity to neighboring countries is another important factor that attracts investors in the region. Simiyu Region is linked to Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and DRC.

The major areas of investments that were exposed during the forum include agriculture, livestock keeping, fishing and industries. The current investment situation in Simiyu In monetary terms the Region is estimated to have GDP at current prices of 1.95m/- in 2010 contributing about 6.07 per cent of GDP. The region also has per capital income of 510,023/-ranking it among middle income earners in the country. Agriculture Agriculture has continued to dominate the livelihood and economic performance of Simiyu.

The sector contributes about 75 per cent to the regional economy and employs about 80 per cent of the active population in Simiyu. The main cash crops grown are cotton, groundnuts and sunflower. While the main food crops are maize, sorghum, paddy, sweet potatoes, millet and cassava. Irrigation Schemes Total regional land which is suitable for irrigation 61,542 hectares and the land which is being utilized according to 2011/12 data is only 14,766 hectares (23.99 percent).

This land under irrigation is usually planted with paddy, maize and vegetables. Recently, it was established that at least 3,000 acres of land have been allocated at Mwananyili area in Busega District, Simiyu for irrigation farming pilot study. Simiyu Regional Commissioner, Anthony Mtaka revealed that the irrigation project is set to commence next year.

According to Mr Mtaka, Simiyu is expected to be the main food producer in the country and that plans are in place to see such goals being achieved. He said Busega is a 2017 priority district for agriculture in the region.

“We are looking forward to use Lake Victoria water for irrigation farming, our aim is to feed Tanzania and other neighboring countries, this is possible and we are prepared to do it,” he said.

He said that at the moment his office is looking for an affordable irrigation model that will help them to successful implement the project. Development stakeholders such as NMB, TIB and others have been approached to chip-in to support the project. “We have already asked NMB through their agriculture window to support the project, we hope things will start to happen soon,” he said.

Busega is set to be an exemplar district in irrigation farming across the country. The type of agriculture, which is expected to take place in Busega must be quite different from other areas that have no access to Lake Victoria water.

Irrigation farming in Simiyu Region is another potential area for investment and thus investors are invited to inject capital in the area. Cotton The cotton industry in the country is centered in Maswa also in Simiyu Region.

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Author: FLORENCE MUGARULA

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