Call for more seriousness on agriculture in Zanzibar
The government has not been serious in developing agriculture, Members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives said, arguing that importing agricultural produce that can be grown in the Isles was a shame.
“We are still heavily dependent on imported goods such as rice, coconuts, vegetables, chicken and fruits from Tanzania mainland, Kenya, South African and Brazil, this is shame and proof that we have not been serious in farming,” said Mr Salim Abdallah Hamad (CUF-Mtambwe).
Hamad was debating the budget proposal for the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and asked the government to work hard towards food self sufficiency. Ms Shura Sahrif Ali (CCM-Women) complained that there have been no preparations for farming including proper identification of the number of farmers in the islands who need farm inputs.
“We should identify farmers and supply them with tools they need including fertilizers. It is a shame for the ministry to say that farming equipment are insufficient for farmers,” she said.
Mr Makame Mshimba Mbarouk (CCM-Kitope) said that executives in the Ministry of agriculture and natural resources have been providing wrong information to leaders including President Ali Mohamed Shein that farm produce are on the increase, while the reality on the ground is that production is poor.
Legislator Mshimba said that there was a lot to be done and commitment should Zanzibar need to improve agriculture and reduce relying heavily on importing food from outside the Isles.
By ISSA YUSSUF, Tanzania Daily News
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