The call was made by the minister of State President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Governments Selemani Jafo, noting that while a lot of research has been done, the sectors’ contributing to the national economy is not fully exploited.
Speaking at the official opening of the Central Zone’s agricultural exhibition famously known as Nane Nane at Nzuguni grounds in Dodoma, he urged farmers and pastoralists to utilize the event and improve production.
The minister said researchers must intensify dissemination of information to help farmers across the country improves productivity.
“Research must provide answers as to why farmers and livestock keepers still register low production and incomes and what can be done to improve yields,” he said.
Jafo said the Nane Nane exhibition provides a wide range of opportunities yet there hasn’t been maximum utilisation of such opportunities. He requested the beneficiaries to at least use 75 per cent of the knowledge gained to improve production in the agriculture, livestock and fisheries industry.
He also observed that East Africa and Southern African regions have all been hit by the wave of the respiratory infections disease—coronavirus pandemic thus slowing their food productions. “It’s fortunate that we have defeated the pandemic and this should help us tap into market potentials in the neighbouring regions,” he noted.
He called on investors to diversify investments in other regions to ensure an increased production of key products. The minister was optimistic that should the country increase investment in industries such as fish and beef processing factories it would add up to job creations thereby uplifting the country’s middle income status.
Jaffo, however, lauded initiatives that have helped some crops such as cashew nuts to be grown in other regions such as Singida and Kigoma.
Singida Regional Commissioner Dr Rehema Nchimbi said Singida is emerging the largest cashew nut growing region, a challenge to southern regions that have been producing the cashew crop in huge volumes. The regional commissioner attributed the success to practical training attained during its active participation in Nane Nane exhibitions.
The region has so far intensified avocado farming that is expecting to turn around the agriculture sector in the country. Farmers in the region harvest at least twice every year.
Dr Nchimbi expressed gratitude to experts from Naliendere agricultural research institute for developing best seeds and extension services that is currently improving the livelihood of farmers in the region. “Singida is no longer a semi-arid region.
“We have no food shortage anymore,” but she was quick to blame an increasing volume of charcoal producers who are putting the environment at risk. She said excessive tree cutting in the region is slowly affecting food production and the region’s target to be a powerhouse in the central zone.
There are so far 25,500 hectares of cashew plantations in Manyoni, Itigi and Ikungi districts.
For his part, Dodoma Regional Commissioner Dr Binilith Mahenge called on the general public and residents of Dodoma to seize the opportunity of the farmers’ exhibition to learn on the new developments in the key sector.
He suggested the forthcoming Nane Nane exhibition be held in the capital city to help cement the emerging developments in the region and the neighbouring towns.