MVIWATA Commemorates World Food Day
At least 46 percent of subsidized fertilizers do not reach the farmers as planned, retarding government efforts toward promoting agricultural sector, a new research has revealed. Presenting research findings at the commemoration of World Food Day on October 16 2014 in Morogoro, Professor Damian Gabagambi said more action needs to be taken to reverse the trend. World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October which is the founding day of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States. World Food Day is about recognising and raising awareness on world hunger and the importance of food provision. This year’s theme was “Family Farming: Feeding the world, Caring for the earth.”
In his presentation titled “Agriculture Revolution or Revolution for Agriculture” Dr Gabagambi noted that delays experienced in the system hinder implementation of the country’s plan to stimulate sustainable agriculture and reduce poverty. Sustainable Agriculture is the only way towards food security, environmental conservation and against climate change. He also implored Government to work and cooperate with decision markers in debating issues related to farmers as most decisions are made without clearly defining the future effects on the farmers. “
About 13% of people in the world are faced with hunger with the majority being in Africa while 90% of the food is produced by Small Scale Farmers worldwide. However, SSF are not seen stakeholders while large scale farmers are given prominence, producing a single crop on using large tracts of land, using too many industrial fertilizers, chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) and hybrid seeds. This results in land conflicts between SSF and the investors, environmental pollution, loss of soil fertility and productivity and disappearance of indigenous seeds.
Commenting on the research, a farmer from Babati District in Manyara, Mr Mohammed said measures should be taken to ensure that the inputs provided by the government reach small holder farmers on time as agents often delay in distributing them intentionally to hike prices. “The current system of distribution has a long supply chain results in price fluctuations making fertilizers more expensive in Tanzania,” concluded Mr Mohammed
Meanwhile, farmers from Nyandira are the proud owners of their own their market which is located at Mvomero District in Morogoro which was built by MVIWATA WITH financial support from the Government of France. The vice chairperson Ms. Otensia explained that the building of the Nyandira Market was completed in 2004 and was supported by the government of France with the objective of “uplifting the life of farmers and providing different services to support the small scale farmers”. She also noted that although the market was given to the local government, the control of all activities is with the local community.
During the visit farmers and other stakeholders had a chance to observe the trading activities between farmers and as they engaged in price negotiations before selling their products. Farmers explained that they are faced with challenges such fake agriculture inputs, high cost of inputs, and poor infrastructure and that the market was small compared to the number of farmers and traders who are coming everyday to the market. Farmers implored the Government to improve the infrastructure and to make the agriculture inputs affordable.
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