Dar es Salaam. The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Sagcot) said Tanzania would succeed in its becoming a middle income economy and an industrialised nation by prioritising agriculture.
Sagcot finance and accounts department head in the Southern Highlands Anna Mtaita said the government and stakeholders should prioritise agriculture to realise the fifth phase government’s dream.
“Tanzania has everything required for becoming a middle income and industrialised economy, including Ihemi and Mbarali valleys, which stand as the best places for the production of raw materials. So, what is needed is political will in turning the dream into a reality,” she said.
Addressing a press conference at the weekend, Ms Mtaita said industries depended on agricultural raw materials, especially from small-scale farmers, noting that capacity building and economic empowerment would significantly enable them to surpass targets.
She said many industries suspended production due to lack of raw materials and that industrial production could not depend on imported raw materials, bearing in mind that Tanzania was blessed with fertile land that could produce various crops.
“Sagcot started as a small institution, which recruited expatriate workers. Currently, we employ local workers. Therefore, we appeal for government support in addressing challenges facing the institution,” she said.
She named some of the challenges as lack of international markets, agricultural inputs, water infrastructure, electricity and road networks.
Speaking on the role played by her department, Ms Mtaita said Sagcot was in a transition period to transform its financial system to increase efficiency and donor trust.
“Usually, we plan and implement our programmes quarterly. When we receive funds from donors we inject them into projects, whose plans are made in advance,” she said.
She noted that Sagcot, which is obliged to help citizens in poverty eradication and increase the country’s food security, conducted its duties in collaboration with other stakeholders, including, the government of Tanzania, the embassy of Norway, UKAID, World Bank, UNDP and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).