All set for key farmers’ expo

26Jan 2017
Edward Qorro
The Guardian
All set for key farmers’ expo

THE stage is set for the two-day professional farmers’ expo expected to be graced by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa at the country’s agriculture hub today.

Co-hosted by the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), the Agriculture Council of Tanzania (TARI) and the Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), the event dubbed Agritech Expo Tanzania, will bring together small scale farmers, government officials, agro associations and non-governmental organisations.

According to Yolanda dos Santos, the event’s Director, the expo will serve local farmers an opportunity to showcase their products and learn how to use modern technology, while also tapping into knowledge from big agricultural organisations on how best they could work to uplift the sector, considered to be the country’s economic backbone.

“The expo will also be an interactive session for farmers to exchange knowledge on how they can improve their yields,” she said.

SARI’s director, Dr January Mafuru, expressed his optimism on the exhibition saying it focused on farmers’ value chain while at the same time benefit small scale farmers in the country.

He added that the farmers will be equipped with capacity building sessions during the expo on how they can withstand challenges that come with climate change.

For her part, the Executive Director at Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT), Janet Bitegeko, underscored the importance of agriculture in the country’s quest for industrialisation.

More than 70 per cent of Tanzanians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, where the country has over 44 million hectares of arable land, but only a quarter is put to effective production.

The sector accounts for nearly 25 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is a substantial contribution to the economy by any standards.

Experts also assert that it accounts for 30 per cent of total exports; and 65 per cent of raw materials for the Tanzanian industries.

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