'Call for LGAs to allot more funds to complete agricultural projects’

01Dec 2021
Gerald Kitabu
The Guardian
'Call for LGAs to allot more funds to complete agricultural projects’

AGRICULTURE, Livestock and Fisheries stakeholders have urged local government authorities to allocate enough money to complete unfinished agricultural projects at district level.

Participants discuss SAM/PETS during a training in Morogoro recently. Photo by Gerald Kitabu

They said one of the challenges facing agricultural sector in this country is that the budget set aside for agriculture, fisheries and livestock are normally inadequate and even when the little money is set aside, it doesn’t reach down tothe grassroots level and do the work that was planned.

Speaking at refresher and Advocacy training for SAM/PETS agri cluster members held in Morogoro, one of the stakeholders Paul Kitta from Mbeya Non-Governmental Organizations Network (Mbengonet) said if the money was sent to the project on time as planned, many agricultural projects left by District Agricultural Development Programme (DADPs) would havebeen accomplished.

“All the projects not been completed. This is a waste of financial resources and setting back peoples development. Iadvise the government to make sure that it sets aside adequate budget as per the directives and guidelines,” he said.Citing an example of Mbarali district council, in Mbeya kitta who is also ward councilor said for this financial year, Mbarali District had set aside 240m/-.

But if you look at the revenues accrued from agricultural sector, the district raises about 3.5bn/-, if the district was setting aside 20 percent, it would have allocated 700m/- for agriculture. He said there are many projects such as Ipatagwa, Isonyanga that were implemented by DADPs but after DADPs, all the projects have ceased and others have never completed.

“If these projects were allocated enough money continuously, they would have completed,” he said.

Mbeya district council Livestock and Fisheries officer Daud Mwalusamba wondered why there are conflicting policiesand laws between Ministries.

Citing an example, he said the Ministry of agriculture and Regional Administration and Local government usually issuesdifferent directives on the same thing.

“Who is the boss? Because when the Minister of agriculture or Livestock issue a certain directive at district council, theMinister of regional administration and local government would issue a different directive. You wonder who is theboss over another?,” he said.

He said normally the priority areas for the Minister for regional administration and local government is to preach health and education issues. 

Very rare you will hear her talking about agriculture or livestock. He said when the Minister for agriculture speaks about a certain issue concerning agriculture,let say extension officers; the Minister for regional administration would issue a different directive. Head of program operations at agricultural Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF) Honest Mseri said that the meeting broughttogether different organizations that work on the ground on agriculture projects.

The organizations works on social accountability monitoring (SAM) and Public expenditure tracking survey PETS).They work with local communities particularly farmers to monitor implementation of government projects. 

ANSAF works with the organizations to make sure that different issues that are raised by the beneficiaries of the projects and the challenges discovered before, during and after implementation of the projects are taken to thepolicy and decision makers.