Dubbed: ‘Zanzibar agricultural sector development programme’ or in short ZASDP the programme aims to boost sustainable production by combining both the blue and green economies.
Speaking in Zanzibar over the weekend, the Zanzibar Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries, Rashid Ali Juma, said that his ministry was finalising the programme ready for the government’s endorsement in the near future.
“We’re finalising it be ensuring that we involve all the key stakeholders in order to have their inputs for its successful implementation. We hope to finish it soon in order to have it endorsed ready for implementation,” he said.
He was speaking during the meeting between the President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and members of the Development Partners’ Agriculture Working Group that was held at State House in Stone Town.
The development partners’ delegation was in Zanzibar for a two-day visit whereby prior to the meeting with Dr Shein, they held a meeting with MANRLF officials and made field visits to small holder horticulture farmers at Kisakasaka and a marine hatchery of the Zanzibar State University located at Nkrumah campus both in the outskirts of Zanzibar.
During the meeting at MANRLF, they were briefed about the status of the Zanzibar sector development including the current situation, investments, achievements and challenges faced together with future plans including proposed interventions.
Speaking during the meeting at State House, the Development Partners’ Agriculture Group co-Chair, Fred Kafeero, said that they were impressed by the stage at which the ZASDP had reached and that they were ready to work with the Government of Zanzibar to ensure its successful implementation.
“The programme is impressive taking into account all the key factors and developments at both local and global levels. The combination of both green and blue economies is also notable. We as development partners are happy to work with the government in putting it into action,” he said.
Kafeero, who is also the Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), said that development partners use different modalities in supporting agricultural initiatives in the country which include technical support, grants and loans. He called upon the government to assist in speeding up formalisation of the support endorsement processes in order to avoid delays in the implementation of the laid down plans.
For his part, President Shein appreciated the support and commitment by the development partners in the development of the agricultural sector in Zanzibar and pledged full support in ensuring that the processes for endorsement of the support processes are eased for timely implementation.
“You have been our key partners in the development of our agriculture sector. We look forward to strengthened ties for further development in the sector which is the main stay of our economy. We’ll also ensure that the endorsement processes won’t take long and cause unnecessary delays,” he said.