Speaking at the official opening of the 43rd Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair at the Mwalimu Nyerere grounds along Kilwa Road, VP Suluhu said that with increased investment in agriculture, the sector is likely to help Tanzania achieve a middle income economy status by 2025 as envisioned.
The VP stressed that since the majority of Tanzanians (75 percent) live in rural areas and depend on agriculture to generate income, it was crucial for the agriculture sector to be improved so as to improve their welfare, boost their incomes and alleviate poverty at family level.
Farmers, fishermen and pastoralists produce 95 percent of the food consumed in the country despite limited access to modern agricultural tools, she stated.
“The agriculture sector contributes 25 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 30 percent of foreign currency earnings,” said the VP, insisting on the need for the government to create a conducive environment to ensure that farmers benefit from their activities.
She however challenged Tanzanians to grab available investment opportunities especially in the agricultural sector, specifying that Tanzania is endowed with various natural resources that can be used as raw materials.
She directed authorities responsible for implementation of Blueprint reforms that aim at improving the doing business environment in the country to make sure it becomes fully operational.
The Vice President noted that the trade volume between Tanzania and member states of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) increased from 10.63 percent of the country’s trade portfolio in 2017 to 29.84 percent in 2018.
The trade volume between Tanzania and the East African Community (EAC) bloc increased toUS$ 447.5 million in 2018 from to US$ 349.6 million recorded in 2017, she further observed.
Some of the products that Tanzania exports to EAC products include rice, maize, textiles, sunflower, paper products, cement, mosquito nets, iron sheets, ceramic products, cooking oil and chemicals, she added.