Govt  unveils   grand plan to  increase rice production

26Apr 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Govt  unveils   grand plan to  increase rice production

THE government through the ministry of agriculture has unveiled a grand plan to increase rice production from the current 2.2 million metric tonnes to 4.5 million tonnes by 2030.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary (PS) Mathew Mtigumwe said during the meeting to prepare the second national rice development strategy.

According to him, the ministry will work in collaboration with stakeholders to make sure that rice production increased to 4,500,000 tonnes by 2030 from the current 2,219,628 tonnes.

He said Tanzania is one of the first group countries in the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) and the rice production strategy will be also be realized with support from the coalition.

“We will benefit by getting funds from World Bank (WB), African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to support agriculture development including rice production,” he noted.

He noted that rice is one of the most important staple foods in Tanzania. As the consumption of rice has been increasing rapidly year by year, domestic production fails to keep up with this demand. As a result, Tanzania is forced to import rice to maintain stable supply. Therefore, it can be said that increasing rice production is an important agenda for the national food security.

For his part, director for mechanization and irrigation development, Eng Joseph Lubiloh said that to achieve the plan, the ministry had formed a special task force to which will be supervising and working closely to ensure that the target is reached.

He said among others the strategy will focus on increasing competitiveness and improving the post-harvests value chain of small holder rice farmers.

JICA representative, Fumihiko Suzuki said the agency has for years been promoting irrigation development, irrigation human resource development as well as dissemination of paddy and upland rice cultivation technology in the country.

He assured that JICA was well organised in various agricultural aspects, adding that within the agency there were a good number of agricultural experts to help Tanzania attain its goal.