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Tanzania: Farmers would be encouraged by the new Agriculture budget

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Farmers would be encouraged by the agriculture budget

Tanzania’s Agriculture Council (ACT) has hailed an “ambitious agriculture budget” that “inspires hope and leads from the front.

“The ACT Chairperson, Ms. Jacqueline Mkindi, told a news conference here over the weekend that if fully implemented, the historic budget will have a far-reaching impact in unlocking the full potential of a crucial economic sector.

“We are overjoyed that the government has finally corrected historical injustices in the agriculture sector with the massive budget, reinforcing our optimism that the industry’s immense potential will be realized.” Ms. Mkindi continued:

“Farmers are humbled and overjoyed because the budget will improve production, lower farming costs, open up potential markets, and enable them to enjoy the rewards of their brevity because the budget aims to boost their revenue.

“Ms. Mkindi, who is also the TAHA CEO, expressed her gratitude to the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Hussein Bashe, his deputy, Mr. Anthony Mavunde, and the permanent secretary for the historic budget.

“The budget has increased by over 158 percent, with the majority of the money going to finance research, irrigation schemes, extension services, infrastructure development, seed production, and fertilizer subsidies,” the ACT chairman added.

Indeed, Minister Bashe’s agriculture financial forecast for 2022/23 has climbed to Sh 751 billion from Sh 290 billion in 2021/22, a nearly 158 percent increase.

In its latest bid to expand the area under irrigation from 727,280 hectors to 822,285 ha, equivalent to 68.5 percent, the irrigation component will receive a substantial allocation from Sh 46.5 billion in 2021/22 to Sh 361.5 billion in 2022/23 as part of the national strategy to mitigate the negative impact of climate change on food production. In 2025, the national goal is to irrigate 1.2 million hectares.

“The government’s significant investment in constructing irrigation infrastructures would undoubtedly offset the impact of climate change on food production and ensure food security,” Ms. Mkindi said.

The budget plan also included Sh 150 billion in fertilizer subsidies to protect farmers from the effects of global commodities price increases.

After successfully unlocking South African, Indian, French, and Middle Eastern agricultural markets and improving market access information systems, ACT complimented the government for its willingness to continue increasing local, regional, and international markets for crops.

The commercial sector was likewise impressed by the government’s recent move to protect originality by branding vegetables slated for export.

Ms. Mkindi stated that the government’s plan to construct a number of common-use facilities that will serve as a one-stop-shop for diverse crops en route to various markets around the world will reduce exporters’ storage expenses.

“We are pleased by the government’s ambition to boost the horticulture industry’s export value to $2 billion by 2030, up from $779 million per year currently,” she said.

“I owe the Ministry of Agriculture a debt of gratitude for embracing the private sector in its ambitious drive to achieve the green revolution,” Ms. Mkindi said, adding, “Special thanks for the ministry’s profound conviction that the green revolution is inconceivable without a dynamic private sector serving and driving agriculture, farming, and agri-food value chains.”

The ACT leader made a heartfelt plea to the government to distribute the entire agriculture budget on schedule so that it can be executed effectively in order to bring about a green revolution.

The ACT is pleased with President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s efforts to promote Tanzania as an investment destination, particularly during her recent foreign trips to Belgium, France, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where she attracted investors and secured a number of agricultural investments and market access agreements.

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