Tanzania Agriculture sector budget fails Malabo test







The outgoing Tanzanian parliamentary committee on agriculture, water and livestock has lamented that the budget allocation and actual disbursements from the treasury to the sector is wanting, and does not meet the commitments of Malabo Declaration.

The chairman of the committee Professor Peter Mahamud Msolla told the civil society that it might take time to realise the Maputo/Malabo commitments to allocate 10% to the agriculture sector. He expressed concerned that the sector is likely to perform poorly as less than a quarter of the budget was disbursed in the financial year 2014/15 by May 2015. The budget cycle for Tanzania starts in June and ends in July each year. 

Speaking at a meeting between the parliamentary committee members and smallholder farmer in Tanzania a day before the agriculture sector budget readings, Professor Msolla said that only 24% of the agriculture sector budget had been disbursed and 16 % to the livestock sub sector”.

The meeting was convened by the Eastern and Southern Africa Forum - ESAFF, a network of smallholder farmer groups in Tanzania - MVIWATA and the  Forum of Agriculture Non-state Actors - ANSAF to deliberate on the farmers concerns on the agriculture sector and how to enhance partnerships for the betterment of the sector.

Another committee member Hon. David Mwakyusa underscored the importance of farmers participation in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring to ensure maximum impact“Smallholder farmers had proposed to take to task the Government’s treasury if it fails to disburse the budget allocated and passed by legislators in a specific financial year”. 

Hon Mwakyusa, a former Minister for Health said it was also very paramount that funds disbursed are utilised diligently for maximum impact. He expressed fears that   it will take a long time for the country to realise 100% disbursement like in a country like Singapore.”When our committee visited Singapore, we learnt that the country disburses 100% of the budget which provide all necessary requirements to achieve planned projects,” he noted.

Hon. Meshack Opulukwa said apart from the problem of disbursement, the sector budget allocated small amount to development expenditure compared to recurrent expenditure. Mr. Opulukwa is a Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperative. He said that for the financial year 2015/16 development budget allocation stood at 27% which cannot guarantee change in the very important sector.

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