4 Jun 2009

President Jakaya Kikwete yesterday pointed fingers at businessmen who for years have exploited poor farmers by buying cheap from them and selling dear on the world market, pledging measures to redress the situation.

The President made the remarks in Dar es Salaam when speaking at the 6th Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) meeting whose theme this year is ‘Agriculture First.’

The meeting hosting more than 400 local and international delegates is discussing and exploring untapped opportunities in the agricultural sector.

He said businessmen have been profiting from the farmers’ sweat by underpaying them on the pretext that prices in the world market have gone down.

We will not tolerate them any more…their days are numbered,” he said, adding that businessmen should buy farmers’ produce at a reasonable price.

“There are instances when a businessman buys produce at 200/- per kilo and sells it at 800/- in the world market…this is pure exploitation which must be stopped,” he said.

President Kikwete said the government would soon put in place a mechanism that would force business people to comply with farmers’ set price, a move that would help reduce the scale of the problem.

He however pointed out that the country’s agricultural sector can only move forward if irrigation farming would be fully deployed. Kikwete told participants that it was prime time for Tanzania’s farmers to shift from traditional to modern farming.

We, in the government, believe that the Agricultural Sector Development Programme embraces almost all the basic theoretical frameworks about why Tanzania’s agriculture is backward and what needs to be done. What remains is doing what is envisaged in the programme in terms of actualization and time frame,” he said, adding:

“ASDP seeks to see a number of interventions to deal with constraints in agriculture. One is to increase use of irrigation in farming. Overdependence on rain has kept our agriculture backwards for many years. Two is to increase the use of high yield seeds by farmers. We need to build local capacity in research and seed production.” He also noted that there was a need to increase the use of fertilizer among farmers.

“Low use of fertilizer has kept productivity low,” he stressed.

The President also underscored the need to increase the use of insecticides and pesticides as well as enabling farmers to use modern skills and techniques in production through extension services and use of agricultural research findings.

President Kikwete said that there was a need to improve crop marketing infrastructure; as well as all other services that will impact on agriculture, including improvement on physical infrastructure, access to finance for agriculture, facilitating growth of manufacturing and industries which add value to agriculture.

The other critical factor is the promotion of the large scale agriculture in Tanzania to complement smallholder and peasant agriculture. He noted that there is plenty of land which can be utilized by large scale farmers to increase agricultural production and productivity in the country.

I would like us to discuss how best we can leverage private capital into large scale farming in Tanzania. I want us to discuss ways and means of attracting investors both local and foreign in farming and livestock development,” he said.

SOURCE: ippmedia.com



  1. nice blog. love it.

  2. Thanks for compliments,Mr Rogers.You're very welcome.



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