Agriculture is an engine of growth and poverty reduction – RC Mtaka

05Aug 2021
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Agriculture is an engine of growth and poverty reduction – RC Mtaka

​​​​​​​STAKEHOLDERS in the agricultural sector have been challenged to think of how to ‘beautify’ agriculture, stop the old notion that it is for the poor and make it more attractive to youth.

Dodoma Regional Commissioner (RC) Anthony Mtaka.

Such efforts should be focused on initiating small and simple projects with great impact to the people and nation at large.

The call was made here by the Dodoma Regional Commissioner (RC) Anthony Mtaka, saying agriculture is no longer the nations backbone but the heartbeat of national economic growth.

Speaking while officiating the opening of the 7th Annual Agricultural Policy Conference (AAPC) here, Mtaka noted that much as there are so many policy changes and the political will to improve agriculture production, a lot more need to be done to that effect.

The 7th AAPC’s theme is “Realizing Tanzania’s Agricultural and Agro-industry Competitiveness; Fostering Competitiveness, Productivity and Efficiency in Agri-food Systems” started on 3rd August and ends today.

AAPC is organized by the Policy Analysis Group (PAG) in collaboration with the Agricultural Sector Lead Ministries (ASLMs) in Tanzania.

The RC who represented the Prime Minister Kassim Mjaliwa at the annual event expressed concerns that Tanzania still imports a lot of agriculture and livestock products inspite of having all the needed resources.

He said it is worth noting that despite having large number of cattle, country imports milk products like powdered milk since there is no factory that produces it locally.

“As we meet to review agricultural policies and come up with recommendations, it is important to think of the practicality of making agriculture meaningful and tangible” said Mtaka.

He added that the private sector has an important role in helping develop agriculture sector, calling on the players in private sector o support the government initiatives as the nation has top leaders who are committed to taking agriculture to another level.

Speaking at the event, PAG Chairperson, Audax Rukonge noted thanked the government for adopting some the recommendations from the AAPC, saying it is a clear appreciation of what other stakeholders are doing to improve agriculture.

He said PAG is an informal and voluntary group with members working on agricultural policy projects and initiatives, academia and local and international policy think tanks.

 Established in 2013, the group has about 15 members and provides a platform for sharing information on policy research and activities so as to enhance coordination, collaboration and synergy.

Every year, the AAPC convenes a range of critical policy decision-makers and stakeholders in Tanzania’s agricultural sector to share the latest empirical findings, assess progress in agricultural policy reforms, share successes, lessons learned, identify remaining gaps and chart out agenda for future reforms.

“The AAPC provide an invaluable setting for governments, businesses, researchers and development partners to explore new opportunities to integrate food and nutrition security “said Rukonge.

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