Monday, June 19, 2017

Embrace research to up agriculture production, call

Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Deputy

Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Deputy Minister William Olenasha 

By Valentine Oforo @TheCitizenTz

Dodoma. The government has revealed its plans of investing largely into numerous agricultural researches as key way of propelling development of the crucial sector.

Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Deputy Minister William Olenasha told the Parliament today that in this fiscal year, the government has set aside at least sh164,532billion for conducting different key researches on crops, livestock and fisheries in a period of five years to come.

Mr Olenasha revealed the figure as he was responding to a supplementary question from Special Seats MP, Halima Mohamed (CUF), who wanted to know how much money has the government set aside to support agricultural researches.

Ms Mohamed warned that the chorus of industrialisation drive by the fifth phase government would not bear the desired results if the government would not invest on agricultural researches.

“The fifth phase government chief manifesto is currently to industrialise the country but there is not any serious commitment at developing the agriculture sector through uses of agricultural researches and opening of vast irrigation schemes in order to allow farmers to cultivate throughout the years. What is the government plan?” she asked.

On his part, Arumeru East MP, Joshua Nassari (Chadema), said most developed countries have made economic stride by investing largely on agricultural researches. He said it was prudent for Tanzania to borrow a leaf if the goal is to industrialise the country.

“If the fifth phase government needs to triumph in its industrialisation drive then reliable means to achieve that is to invest in agriculture,” he said.

In his generals, Mr Olenasha said the government has harboured constructive plans to invest in agricultural researches in order to foster performance of the crucial sector in the country.

He detailed that there was more than 20 agricultural research institutes, 16 being state-owned and the remaining are private owned.

 “Through the establishment of the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) my ministry has also stated to adjust the country’s system of agricultural researches with prime target of boosting productivity of crops,” he unveiled.

He expressed more than agricultural researches was one among priorities listed in the Agricultural Sector Development Plan (ASDP II), under which, there would be a significant improvement in introduction of key agricultural technology and number of extensional officers.