Govt stresses need for value addition in agriculture

27Jan 2017
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Govt stresses need for value addition in agriculture

THE government is determined to ensure agricultural produce undergoes value addition before selling it overseas, the Prime Minister has said.

Kassim Majaliwa.

Kassim Majaliwa said for a long time the government had been making losses through exporting raw crops but very soon the situation would be a story of the past as there were more processing industries coming in to do so.

The Premier made the remarks on Wednesday evening when speaking with tea growers in Lwangu Village, Njombe District.

"For many years, the government has been incurring losses by selling unprocessed crops; that’s why we came up with this idea of building factories so that our crops are processed within the country and sold as finished products instead of raw materials,” he said.

Construction of industries is one of the government’s bold strategies to add value to Tanzanian grown crops.

The Premier urged farmers to embark heavily on productive farming that will relieve them from the poverty trap.

He also urged farmers to join their hands by forming groups so that it could be easy for them to get technical and financial support.

PM Majaliwa directed Njombe District Commissioner Ruth Msafiri and agricultural officers to imbibe a habit of visiting farmers and offering them technical support so as to increase productivity.

He also asked the Njombe District Council to ensure that road infrastructure was improved so that it could be easy for farmers to transport their produce to the market.

Lupembe MP Joram Hongoli described tea farming as a redeemer to farmers in the district, calling on them to venture more into the tropical crop.

Earlier, manager of the Njombe Outgrowers Services Company Limited (NOSC), Filbert Kavia, said that his firm has been providing technical support to farmers in the area.

He said they aimed to promote tea cultivation, noting that production had increased from 500 kilogrammes to 2,000 kilogrammes of dried leaves of tea per hectare per year.

The manager said the company intended to add new fields of tea up to 3,800 hectares from 614 hectares in 2025.

Kavia said other services offered by the company was the provision of affordable credit for farm inputs that gives farmers a room to re-pay the loan after harvesting.