The government has floated a tender for the construction of infrastructure to put 47,000 hectares under irrigation farming as part of implementation of the Agricultural and Food Security Investment Plan.
Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives minister Prof Jumanne Maghembe revealed this in Dar es Salaam yesterday at a meeting for the preparation of the conference of Agricultural ministers due to start today.
The meeting brings together permanent secretaries and government officials from some African countries as well as representatives from the private sector and development partners.
Prof Maghembe said the plan being implemented in collaboration with USAID plans to ensure infrastructure is constructed to allow the 47,000 ha to be under irrigation farming, he said.
“Under the plan the government has invested in educating farmers on the best faming practices. So far 1,320 rice growers in Kilombero District have been reached in the government plans to have over 150,000 farmers involved,” he said.
Among TAFSIP areas of focus, according to Prof Maghembe, are irrigation development, proving food and nutrition security, sustainable water resources, land use management, increased agricultural productivity and commercialisation.
Other areas are rural infrastructure construction, market access, trade and private sector development.
The agricultural sector is currently growing at 4.2 percent compared to the country’s economic growth of close to 7 percent.
“It is important for Tanzania and Africa in general to boost the agricultural sector to grow at 6 percent,” he suggested.
TAFSIP was launched in November last year to address the core national problems of poverty and food shortages in rural areas and promote agricultural growth and security in nutrition.
The plan which will cost 5trn/- seeks to achieve at least a minimum of 6 percent growth in the agricultural sector, for which the government is to allocate a minimum of 10 percent of its budget.