Dodoma — TANZANIA has agreed with the Netherlands government to establish a joint roadmap towards having a vibrant and robust potato eco-system in the country for sustainable development.
This was said here by the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Hussein Bashe during a workshop on developing the horticulture sector in Tanzania, where he said that the government’s quest to see importation of potatoes was reaching an end.
The minister said he had agreed with the Netherlands Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Wiebe de Boer, to develop the potato sub-sector by establishing strong Public and Private Potato partnerships.
According to him, there was enough land in the country for cultivation of potatoes, as he asked investors from the private sector to tap the opportunity, insisting that the government is ready to offer land.
He directed that whoever is interested is free to submit a proposal detailing all the plans including how many hectares of land one wanted to own, as well as showing how many tonnes of potatoes they are likely to produce.
He said upon satisfaction, the government was ready to enter into contracts with farmers after which, it would offer block farms to enable them kick off production.
At the event, the minister equally launched the Guideline for Avocado Sub-sector Development, with copies of the guideline distributed to all stakeholders in the horticulture sector.
Mr Bashe expressed the government’s commitment in engaging the private sector in horticulture, especially on seed multiplication.
“It is the commitment of the government to engage our partners from the private sector in seed multiplication, because the government cannot do it alone,” he insisted.
The minister said horticulture is among the top priorities of the government, calling for a proper plan from the ministry officials on how best to develop the sub-sector.
Ambassador Boer assured the minister of his country’s commitment to developing the horticulture sector, insisting “Tanzania and Netherlands have all the time having strong partnership in sustainable agriculture and I wish to pledge that this partnership will remain intact.”
At the workshop, stakeholders in the Horticulture Sub-Sector said that Tanzania is still facing a challenge of air transport for perishable agricultural produce, something that was causing loss to some businesspersons in the sector.
Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), Business Environment Manager, Kelvin Remen, said that apart from the various efforts currently being undertaken by the government, still, there was a challenge on transporting horticultural products outside the country.