Lissu pledges to make border regions special zones for economy

25Sep 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Kagera
The Guardian
Lissu pledges to make border regions special zones for economy

CHADEMA’s Union presidential candidate Tundu Lissu has pledged that if elected he would make border regions become special zones for economy and trade.

Lissu gave the pledge when addressing a rally at Kayanga ward in Karagwe District, Kagera Region as part of campaign for the forthcoming general election scheduled for October 28th this year.

Lissu said that the aim is to also facilitate smooth exportation of farmer’s crops to neighbouring countries. He said that farmers are likely to reap more by selling their crops outside the country at better prices.

“If a higher price for coffee is in Dar es Salaam, we shall make sure that you sell the crop at preferential markets. We will put in place simple procedures to facilitate selling of crops through the Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS)”, said the presidential aspirant.

Lissu added: “We will put in place a system which will allow competition among buyers so that farmers could obtain higher prices.”

Lissu said because Tanzania is part of the joint East African Community (EAC) it is important that farmers exploit all the available market potentials by exporting their crops to partner states.

He said that Karagwe District has a big number of coffee farmers but the market thereof has gone down compared with the past.

Lissu attributed the drop to cooperative societies whereby after harvest, a farmer is told he cannot sell wherever he wanted except through cooperatives which issues him with receipt instead of money, and added that it was similar story for cashew nuts farmers.

The biggest buyers of Tanzania coffee are Japan (22 percent), Italy (19 percent) and USA (12 percent). The Korean firm expects to export coffee to Southern Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Myanmar.

 Coffee production in Tanzania has stagnated over the years, despite the fact that new farms are being established, especially in some rural areas where farmers have opportunities for buying or change land use. The current total number of coffee farmers is 225,947 with 149,318,404 coffee trees and 123,295 hectares.

According to the Tanzania Coffee Board, the National production for the year (2016/2017) stood at 43,272 tonnes of clean coffee a decline from 59,648 tonnes from the 2015/16 season. The production for the 2014/15 marketing year was 41,486 tonnes.

Most of the East African population (nearly 80 percent) live in the rural areas and directly or indirectly depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture contributes the largest share of national economies in East Africa.

According to FAO and World Bank’s Development Indicators (2015), agriculture accounts for 43 percent of the average total GDP in the region.  In Tanzania, agriculture accounts for 31 percent of the nation’ GDP.

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