NGOS HAILED FOR BOOSTING FARMERS’ PRODUCTION

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AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE government has expressed gratitude to four nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) for implementing projects worth €100m to boost tea, coffee and horticultural production.

Deputy Minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe hailed Agri-Connect, Salidaridad, IDF-Tanzania and Markup plans after their presentations on how they were going to implement their programmes scheduled for four years.

The programmes also have the components of establishing tea auctions in the country in line with government plans to start the market in March this year.

“Auctions will help tea farmers export their products instead of depending on Mombasa market which was underpaying Tanzanian products even if they were of similar quality like those in Kenya,” he said.

Mr Bashe asked NGO leaders to support the government’s plan to establish Kurasini Trade Centre Project which would be a one-stop centre to help producers of many products to be  certified to meet international standards before their products were exported to the world market.

The deputy minister told reporters a discussion between the ministry and NGOs was still underway to know the modality of how they were going to support the government’s plan to establish auctions and Kurasini One-Stop Centre targeting to harmonise the transportation of their products to the international market.

Mr Bashe directed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture to prepare a catalogue of activities, programmes and plans for all investors coming to have to avoid the duplication of resources, time and brain to the same project previously implemented by other organisations.

He further asked all NGO leaders, who presented their projects and plans to think of how they would reduce administration costs.

Presenting his project Mr Colin Scott from Agro Connect Project said the project, which was facilitated by European Union (EU) targeted to use €100m for numerous activities supporting 22,000 Southern Highland smallholder tea farmers from Mufindi, Njombe and Rungwe to unlock their products, improve their incomes and nutrition by making their products reach the EU market.

The presenter from IDF-Tz Mtemi Miya told the deputy minister their plan was to support farmers to improve the quality and innovation of tea of more than 150,000 villages by preparing demonstration plots for coffee plants and producing 6,000 seedlings to transplant to their farms.

For his part, Director of Solidaridad Organisation Godlove Nderingo told the deputy minister that their plan was to support farmers 7,000 from Unguja and Pemba, Mbeya, Ruvuma and Songwe through their cooperatives to get buyers of their products and then certify their products to meet international standards accepted by users in Europe and other continents.

Markup IT officer Safari Fungo said their NGO dealt in several products from East African countries, Tanzania inclusive.

He explained that their strategy was to support Tanzanian farmers cultivating avocado, cocoa, coffee, species and horticulture and tea to know their fellow countries in the region and improve their products.

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