The Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Engineer Christopher Chiza, said the country’s food reserves will overflow with grains and legumes in the next harvesting season.
Eng. Chiza, who was inspecting irrigation schemes in Tengeru area of Meru District before visiting the grain storage silos belonging to the National Milling Corporation (NMC) in Unga-Limited area, revealed that Tanzania will have a surplus of over 100,000 tonnes of food crops harvests this year.
“Before the end of this year, the country will have stocked its food reserves by nearly 110 per cent and this trend shall continue in later years which means food shortages, with or without famine shall be history in Tanzania,” maintained Mr Chiza explaining that embarking onto irrigation schemes, will free the country’s agricultural sector from depending on rain-fed farming.
The Minister praised the Managing Director of Monaban Company Limited, Mr Philemon Mollel, who runs the NMC operations in Arusha for being highly supportive to local farmers in terms of helping them secure markets for their produce.
“The government wants farmers to earn as much profit as possible from their farm produce and that is why when firms which help them achieve their dreams come along, we extend all support to them,” said Eng. Chiza adding that no farmer is being prevented from selling produce even beyond borders as long as the country’s reserves have enough to cater for its citizens.
He said, as of now, farmers can always sell their grains wherever they wish to because already the nation has enough.
The Director of Monaban Limited, Mr Mollel, said his company intends to assist farmers to grow alternative drought and disease resistant crops such as millet and sorghum in order to widen the base of crops productivity in Tanzania.
The firm also intends to invest in a large bakery which will be making cheap loaves of bread for people with low-income in sync with producing ample market for wheat harvests.
By JOHN MHALA, Tanzania Daily News