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Govt promises more resources into research

13th December 2012
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President Jakaya Kikwete

The government has assured researchers in the country of its commitment to provide financial support for studies in agriculture, health and education and other fields as part of the country’s development vision 2025.

President Jakaya Kikwete gave the assurance in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the Symposium on “Enhancing Human Capital and Productivity for Faster Development in Tanzania.

He said research was important for the country’s development but unfortunately, it was being done mostly by foreigners, with locals being left out due to limited financial support.

“There have been underground complaints by researchers, especially on the limited financial support from the government. Researchers have remained dependent on foreign aid and donors…so the government has to adjust its hand in supporting researchers,” he said.

The President called upon researchers with the plans to quit the field due to poor government support to put them on hold, saying the government is looking into better ways to support them.

He said more research was needed in the agricultural sector because it has been contributing below the expectations to the country’s coffers.

He said more research in the sector will help to boost individual incomes and eliminate extreme poverty among Tanzanians.

“There is a need to link human capital and agriculture in a move to enable full participation of the general public in agriculture activities,” he said.

The Symposium on Development is a two-day meeting organized in collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam Economic Department and the Mwalimu Nyerere Professional Chair in Development (MJNC-DV).

In his remarks, UDSM Vice Chancellor Prof Rwekaza Mukandala said investment in the research area has not been successful in the country and that immediate measures were needed to address the gap.

He said agricultural sector can effectively employ a large population of Tanzanians; however a number of areas needed to be researched and developed to make the sector sustainable.

“Over 75 percent of agricultural seeds are being imported. Development of the seeds is compromised by the differences in climatic conditions and nature of soil between the two countries,” he said warning that there would be no positive results in using imported seeds.

“We only need to undertake extensive research to develop our own seeds that meet our climatic conditions and the nature of our soils,” he added.

Meanwhile; MJNC-DV Chairperson, Prof Delphin Rwegasira said the meeting is searching for accelerated economic growth and rapid reduction of poverty in the country.

The meeting also intends to address key stubborn poverty levels that are currently notable in the country through an engaging development dialogue.

“Our country’s overall ambition is raising the growth rate from below 7 percent currently to 10 percent in the next few years,” he said adding that some researchers have also pointed out the importance of enhancing human capital to benefit turnarounds in national fortunes.

Participating in the symposium, Prof Betram Mapunda who is the Principal of UDSM’s College of Arts and Social Sciences said more efforts were needed in reducing the gap between the poor and rich people in the country.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN