Farmers told to get out of NARCO ranch, leave it to pastoralists

19Dec 2018
By Financial Times Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
Financial Times
Farmers told to get out of NARCO ranch, leave it to pastoralists

The government has ordered the immediate expulsion of farmers conducting their activities within the National Ranch Company (NARCO) facility in Mkata, Kilosa district.

Maasai herders.

The order was given by the deputy minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Abdallah Ulega, who directed the Kilosa district leadership in collaboration with NARCO’s management to remove the farmers over breach the contract.

According to Ulega, the farmers were given the plots for development, but many of them have abandoned the plots altogether while others are leasing their plots to other people.

“In all these dealings, the government does not get a single cent. This is unacceptable,” the deputy minister said while visiting NARCO facilities in Kilosa district.

He also used the tour to meet with pastoralists in Morogoro region.

"I give you one month to make sure that all farmers who have breached their contracts are removed from the Mkata ranch. Those who were given the plots but failed to develop them, and those who have not paid the required taxes to the government, must be removed in accordance with the laws,” he asserted.

Speaking to pastoralists at a rally in Parakuyo village, Ulega said: "The fifth phase government listens to its people and our president loves pastoralists… he has directed us to remove all people who conduct their activities in ranches illegally and give that ranch land to pastoralists.”

On the pastoralists’ complaints that they are not educated by extension officers on how to improve their activities, the deputy minister directed the Livestock Training Agency (LITA) to send students on field training to Parakuyo and other areas so that they can help in educating the pastoralists.

He said the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Mpina, will launch a nationwide drive to dip livestock in Geita and Chato, after which the practice of dipping livestock will become mandatory nationwide. 

The ministry will also provide pesticides to pastoralists free of charge, with no pastoralist required to pay for anything, Ulega added.