Govt to deploy security guards to non-operating horticulture farms  

04Jul 2020
The Guardian
Govt to deploy security guards to non-operating horticulture farms  

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe has tasked the Arumeru District Commissioner Jerry Muro to deploy security guards from national service economic wing (SUMA JKT) in the seven flowers and vegetable farms, which have stopped production in Arusha Region.

Bashe was speaking here yesterday soon after completing his official tour in Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions, where he visited several farms including those producing barley, wheat, flowers and vegetables.

The deputy minister said that the idea is to make those farms free from invaders.

“It is so astonishing to see seven farms of vegetables and flowers in Arusha are not operating because local investors have failed to run them despite the fact that they were given money by the government through Bank of Tanzania (BoT),” he said.

According to Bashe, some of the investors were given 19bn/-, while others were given 24bn/- in 2005, 2006 and 2007, but they ended up spending the money on other different activities. The situation made those farms fail to continue with production.

"So I direct the Arumeru District Commissioner to deploy security guards from national service economic wing (SUMA JKT) so that the farms remain free from invaders.

“We want to see infrastructures in those farms remain intact until when my ministry and that of Finance and Planning come up with better strategies for farms to resume   operations," he said.

He named farms, which are in daring need of security guards as Kombe Roses, Shira Flowers, Allua Flowers, Arusha Blooms, Kiliflora, Finlays and Flamingo.

However, the minister lauded foreign investors who have worked hard to improve the horticulture sector in Tanzania.

"These farms are the heart of flowers and vegetables sectors in our country," he said, urging prospective investors to chip in and invest in the sector.

The government, he said has provided priorities to the horticulture sub-sector by creating friendly environment including removing 95 per cent of taxes in the sector.

The deputy minister further said that barley growers stopped from growing the crop since last year, after the Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) ceased from offering contracts to farmers.

“But now, TBL has agreed to resume barley production and they will start offering contracts to farmers as it was before," he said, adding that the government has ordered the cereals and other produce board of tanzania (CPB) to start buying wheat and process it at the Arusha-based mills, which has the capacity of processing 36,000 tonnes annually.

Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA) Executive Director, Jacqueline  Mkindi described the horticultural sector as key in generating income. The sector generates US $ 779 million per annum.

"Our belief is that if the seven farms will resume production, the revenue will go up to US $ 3billion, the move that will place Tanzania ahead of Kenya whereby the sector generates only US $ 8 million per year.