The government is planning to identify fertile basins in Morogoro, Iringa and Rukwa regions in an ambitious move geared to identify major premium rice producing areas in the country.
The move aims to make the country one of the major producers and distributors of rice in the world. Once the plan is adopted importation of rice, mainly from Japan, will stop.
The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Adam Malima, revealed this yesterday in Parliament when responding to a supplementary question posed by Kalambo legislator Josephat Kandege (CCM).
The legislator had wanted to know the government’s plans on production of rice to bring to an end importation of rice into the country.
The Deputy Minister said since 1979 the government had been importing rice from Japan which is sold to business companies registered to distribute the product in Zanzibar and the Mainland.
According to Malima, about 183,366.92 tonnes of rice, worth Japanese yeans 7.7 billion, was imported between 1992 and last year.
“The government intends to promote the three basic basins and others not identified to be major rice producing areas in the country,” stressed Malima.
He was responding to a question posed by Konde legislator, Khatibu Haji, who had wanted to know why the government had failed to distribute imported rice from Japan and instead business and private companies are doing the job.