Permanent Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, Eng Mathew Mtigumwe said this on Tuesday during his meeting with extension officers and stakeholders from Rukwa region.
The meeting also brought together agents of agricultural inputs, food processors, farmers and leaders of the cooperative unions.
“There are no reasons to continue working with leaders who have limited knowledge and skills. We need educated talented people to lead farmers’ cooperative unions”, said the PS.
Eng Mtigumwe noted that cooperative unions plays a potential role in reducing poverty among farmers and can be used to establish small processing industries. He said for the unions to bring changes and help farmers to benefit from their sweat and hard work, there should be professional people to lead them.
While in Rukwa, the PS also visited fertilizer shops and warehouses owned by private companies namely, ETG, YARA and PREMIER. He was satisfied with the way fertilizers are kept and the enough stock available for farmers.
He insisted on farmers and stakeholders to ensure production of quality agricultural products to win internal and external markets. He said apart from winning the market outside the country, quality agricultural products can fetch good prices hence changing farmers’ livelihood.
The PS noted that the government is determined to combat insecticides such as fall army worms (FAW) which have been attacking crops in different parts of the country.
He urged extension officers and regional administrative secretaries across the country to conduct research to identify areas affected by the insecticides so that measures are taken to fight them accordingly.