The government through its agency, SUMA JKT imported a total of 1,860 tractors to boost agricultural development by higher productivity, the National Assembly was informed here yesterday.
The deputy minister for Agriculture, Food security and Cooperatives, Adam Malima (pictured) said the tractors imported were distributed in November 2010 to various regions where four selling stations had been established, namely Dodoma, Mwanza, Arusha and Mbeya.
Malima said the SUMA JKT project was aimed at enhancing the government’s efforts geared towards improving productivity in the agriculture sector with the small scale farmers as the main target group. Small scale farmers are not able to afford the high cost of procuring the tractors, he said, noting that the tractors imported have been sold directly to farmers and about 786 tractors had been purchased by farmers.
“Other 424 tractors will be purchased soon as they are already engaged by farmers interested and willing to buy while the rest are expected to be purchased by December 2012,” said Mr Malima when answering a basic question from Ignas Malocha (Kwela, CCM). He sought to know the number of tractors imported through SUMA JKT and the time passed since the tractors were imported as well those so far purchased by farmers. In a supplementary question, Malocha told the House that Rukwa region required 80 tractors and farmers have to travel a long distance to Mbeya to purchase the tractors.
According to the deputy minister the government has allocated another centre in Songea for Ruvuma, Katavi and Rukwa regions where the farmers will buy the tractors.