Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli on Monday, January 18, reiterated his call for the country to increase food production, predicting that the world will experience food scarcity this year due to the impacts of Covid-19.
Dr Magufuli was speaking in Bukoba town, shortly after commissioning Ihungo Boys High School facilities that were seriously devastated by the 2016 earthquake.
Earlier, he had laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Sh22 billion regional Vocational Education and Training Authority (Veta) college which is funded by the Chinese.
Addressing the public, Dr Magufuli said putting food producers under lockdowns, will plunge the world into serious food shortage.
“Lockdown also has led to significant decline of commodities prices like coffee on the global market because potential consumers are under lockdown,” he said, adding.
“But, we shouldn’t be discouraged because even those under lockdown need something to eat. Spending prevailing rains for increasing production should be among the country’s advantages of being free from corona in building a strong economy.”
He commended the region for increasing food production, saying improved transport systems should enable the country to trade consumables regionally and internationally.
“Let us aim for better prices. Vanilla which is another preferred crop, with a kilo selling up to Sh1 million,” he said.
The minister of Education, Science and Technology, Prof Joyce Ndalichako said the costs for construction and rehabilitation of Ihungo Boys High School was Sh10.9 billion.
According to her, the UK donated Sh6.1 billion while Sh4.8 billion was provided by the government.
“The school can now accommodate 1,152 students up from 640. The project was implemented by the Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) under the supervision of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF),” she said.
She said the project involved the construction of three blocks with eight classrooms each, three dormitories, toilets as well as rehabilitating the physics, chemistry and biology laboratories, electricity system, clean and sewerage water.
According to her, 84 out of 89 government schools put under upgrading programmes have been given a new outlook, while rehabilitation of the remaining five was underway.
The UK ambassador to Tanzania David Concar commended the government and Kagera regional authorities for proper utilization of the funds, saying the UK has disbursed Sh500 billion in the sector in the last five years.