THE Ministry of Agriculture is in a process of implementing major changes in policy and laws in the agricultural sector in order to protect land exhaustion and unpermitted uses.
That was said here yesterday by the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Japhet Hasunga at the closure of Partnership for Sustainable Rice Systems Development in Sub-Saharan Africa project implementation, adding “Many areas suitable for agriculture have been illegally turned to other uses, including human settlements.”
“This has reduced the size of land for agriculture, while the population of people is increasing, meaning that famers feel threatened to sustain food production,” he said.
Mr Hasunga said that his ministry would start coordinating formulation of the policy and law to protect land for more agriculture in order to boost food production, since the market is there.
The project was started in 2016, where Tanzania was implementing it in Kilosa, Mvomero and Kilombero districts in Morogoro Region in collaboration with FAO, Tanzania and Venezuela.
On his part, Ambassador of Venezuela to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda Mr Jesus Manzanilla, commended all the partners of the project, saying his country would continue to support Tanzania especially in the agricultural sector.
He further said that the project had recorded great achievements and brought immense benefits to individual farmers and national income.
Commenting, FAO Representative to Tanzania Mr Fred Kafeero said that production and productivity in the project areas have improved to the extent that farmers were realising rice yields from an average of 20 bags to 40 per acre.
He noted rice being a staple crop in many countries including Tanzania, the country is ranked second producer in the continent after Madagascar.
“Here in Tanzania Rice production has increased its value to the country’s economy and remains as a main source of food, employment and income to many smallholder farmers’ households” said Mr Kafeero.
The event was also attended by the Vice Minister for People’s Power for Agriculture and Land of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Mr Jose Gregorio Aguilers Contreras.