GOVERNMENT TO TRANSFORM SUBSISTENCE FARMING

Author: FATMA ABDU
AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE government plans to put in place good policies, guidelines and regulations that will help transform subsistence farming to commercial agriculture and increase farmers’ incomes.

Speaking in Mbeya Region, Minister for Agriculture Japhet Hasunga said the government aimed at boosting agribusiness in the country, including improved productivity.

Mr Hasunga was speaking during an agribusiness expo, which brought together all stakeholders engaging in agriculture such as farmers, researchers, agro-dealers, seed companies and entrepreneurs.

The expo was organised by Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute Uyole Centre (TARIUyole) in Mbeya Region in collaboration with Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC) and other agribusiness stakeholders such as farmers, researchers, agro-dealers, seed companies and entrepreneurs.

The minister said the government had all along continued to improve the agricultural sector and increase productivity and enable the sector to contribute fully to food security and boost the national economy.

He added efforts had been made to strengthen extension services, the distribution of agricultural inputs, modern agricultural tools, reliable crop markets and strengthening shipping infrastructure to enable farmers to operate smoothly and improve their incomes as well as that of the nation.

“I assure you that the fifth phase government is wellpositioned to develop the agricultural sector. Therefore, it is committed to ensuring that your productivity is increased,” he said.

According to the minister, agribusiness expo is one of the most important ways in the distribution of agricultural technologies in value chain from resources, the bureau of standards authorities, legal authorities, producers, processors, markets and consumers.

“Under the theme “The revolution productive through sustainable agriculture, innovation, investment and business” farmers have an opportunity to interact and researches to showcase their new technologies.

The TARI Board Chairman, Dr Yohana Budeba, said agriculture was the backbone of the country’s economy.

He commended the government for introducing TARI because it had brought changes in the agricultural sector by responding to challenges facing farmers through research.

He called upon members of the public to use the technologies recommended by researchers to improve productivity and production.

For his part, TARI Director General (DG), Dr Geofrey Mkamilo, said the institute ensured various technologies which had been identified by researchers were utilised by farmers.

“It will be meaningless if the technologies do not benefit farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain,” he said.

“Agriculture should contribute to the economy of farmers and the nation in general and this will help them move from subsistence to commercial farming,” he said.

He added that TARI had the mandate to conduct research and disseminate research findings to stakeholders and linking various agricultural stakeholders in the value chain,” the DG said.

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