Monday, December 4, 2017

Directive a wakeup call to livestock investors

By TheCitizen

        Livestock plays an important role in Tanzania’s development and the country has all it takes to grow its economy through the sub-sector. With several large ranches, Tanzania ought to be among the leading countries in the production and exportation of livestock products.

However, the situation on the ground is not promising and it is all down to failure to take full advantage of our great potential. On Saturday, Livestock and Fisheries minister Luhaga Mpina directed the National Ranch Corporation (Narco) to revoke the contracts of three investors for being unproductive.

The companies that will be affected by the directive are Farm Company Limited, A to Z Animal Feeds Company and Ereto Livestock Keepers Association, which held a total of 68,000 hectares.

Had they implemented their projects, they would have contributed substantially to GDP. However, according to the minister, this was not the case and, needless to say, the government did not get its fair share of revenue.

Apart from revenue, they firms would have improved rural livelihoods through the creation of thousands of jobs.

We need economic vibrancy and that is why we believe that the minister’s directive was in the best interests of the nation.

The fifth phase government is on an ambitious industrialisation drive. Industries require constant and sustainable supply of raw materials.

However, the envisaged industries cannot take off if little or nothing goes on in our ranches. Every sector needs to work at full throttle if we are to attain an industrial economy status.

Some 105 other investors are living on borrowed time, and revocation of the trio’s contracts should serve as a wake-up call for them to start or ramp up production.

It is our belief that all investors in the livestock sub-sector will live up to expectations and help the country be among top exporters of livestock products.     

Invest more in education

        The African continent still lags behind in development and technology because of, among other things, inadequate investment in education. Although African governments set aside budgets for education, many education projects are not fully implemented due to inadequate funds.

As a result, higher education institutions produce few experts who can hardly meet the needs of the continent. This subjects us to perpetual underdevelopment and dependency.

The ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cuba in Tanzania, Prof Lucas Domingo Hernandez Polledo, has rightly advised African governments to invest adequately in education and the youth’s welfare.

He says if people are well-educated and economically empowered to improve their livelihoods, they would not accept to be auctioned as slaves and that what is happening in Libya is total regression to oppression and injustice.

Our leaders should heed the ambassador’s advice on education and the youth, who make up the bulk of Africa’s population, if we really intent on transforming the continent and making it a better place for all. This will reduce the number of Africans leaving their countries in search of greener pastures, only to end up living in atrocious conditions. The time to change is now.