MP makes case for Tanzania’s dairy industries

From our Correspondent in Iringa

Mufindi North Member of Parliament  Mahmoud Mgimwa  has implored the government to support  local dairy industries just like the Kenyan government is doing.

Speaking during a dinner hosted here by the Agriculture Minister Charles Tizeba in honour of members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Agriculture, Livestock and Water,  Mr Mgimwa said local dairy industries face a myriad of  problems and challenges that go unsolved year after year.

“You cannot compare Tanzania’s industries with those in Kenya because our friends there support their industries so that they produce  competitive products  that will outshine products from neighbouring countries, including Tanzania.”

The MPs are visiting Ihemi Cluster, which embraces Njombe and Iringa Regions. The two regions are currently the hub of projects that seek to transform lives and incomes of peasants and improve food security in the two regions.  The projects are sponsored by the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Sagcot) in what is described as Sagcot strategic partnership.

In the two regions Sagcot has what it describes as Dairy Value Chain Partnership and  wants the partnership to bring small farmers into the value chain and play a critical role in improving food security.

Mr Mgimwa called on fellow MPs to use the occasion to know exactly what Sagcot is doing to transform the livelihoods in the cluster. “Our hope after this visit is to see Sagcot move on.  We also want, from informed standpoint, to question the government on what it is doing in relation to this huge project for transforming lives of peasants.  But we shall also raise our voices where we see things are not going in the right way,” he said.

Earlier the Director of Planning and  Policy, Ms Nkuvililwa Simkanga, told the delegation that the government is aware of the challenges in the agriculture sector. She also said the government knows what Sagcot is doing because, she explained,  government representatives have worked with Sagcot in implementing phase one and two of the Agricultural Sector Development Programme.

The Sagcot Chief Executive Officer, Mr Geoffrey Kirenga, said if committee members will know what Sagcot is doing, they will be part of the transformation of the agriculture sector.  He also said the visit will accord committee members with an opportunity to talk to farmers and Sagcot’s stakeholders.

Iringa Regional Commissioner Amina Masenza  welcomed the parliamentarians to Iringa and especially to Ihemi Cluster.

 

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