Agriculture in Tanzania is important but we have no money, says Minister

Wednesday May 16 2018

Agriculture Minister Dr Charles Tizeba tables

Agriculture Minister Dr Charles Tizeba tables the ministry's budget requesting Sh170.2 billion for 2018/19 today. Photo | Edwin Mjwahizi 

By Alawi Masare @AMasare

Dodoma. The government said on Wednesday that it understands the importance of agriculture but financing the sector was challenged by scarce financial resources. 

Ministers were responding to MP queries during the winding up of the agriculture budget. 

Deputy minister for Finance and Planning Dr Ashatu Kijaji told the National Assembly that there were many important sectors which received little financing and it was the same for agriculture. 

She was contributing during deliberations on the Ministry of Agriculture budget which ended today.

"I understand the concerns on little financing of agriculture... You also raised similar concerns in other budgets but it's only due to limited financial resources," she said. 

Some MPs refused to second the budget while others suggested that the estimates be reviewed before approval. 

The lawmakers also wanted the government to allocate at least 10 per cent of the main budget to agriculture as required by Maputo declaration. 

Agriculture Minister Dr Charles Tizeba tabled the ministry's budget requesting Sh170.2 billion for 2018/19.

Dr Tizeba also stressed the point saying financial resources were not only scarce for agriculture but also in other sectors. 

"It's true that the budget is small but you should know that almost 80 per cent of agriculture issues are implemented by President's Office - Regional Administration and Local Government," said Dr Tizeba. 

"Our main objectives as the ministry is to implement agriculture policy and coordination of activities such as researches," he added.