Sunday, 21 November 2010
Pinda pledge a boost for `Kilimo Kwanza`
Honourable Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda accepted Tuesday’s parliamentary endorsement of his re-appointment by President Jakaya Kikwete as Prime Minister by declaring in no uncertain terms that he would place a premium on efforts to add value to the lives of Tanzania’s farming, livestock keeping and fishing communities. In his brief televised address in Dodoma, the self-acclaimed ‘son of a farmer’ reminded his audience that agriculture is behind the survival and development of at least 80 per cent of Tanzania’s population of more than 40 million.
A noticeably disconcerted but meanwhile upbeat Pinda fell just short of saying it was an embarrassingly huge disgrace that millions of Tanzanians were reeling under the weight grinding poverty when their country was endowed with all manner of wealth that lay largely underutilised, chiefly human resources, agricultural land, minerals, inland fresh water resources, minerals and marine resources.
In his words: “I would be all so happy if we (legislators) spend our time and energy debating and digesting modalities of improving the lives of Tanzanians in rural settings, most of whom are engaged in agriculture, livestock keeping and fishing.” The PM-elect noted that most of the people sweating and toiling to make the three sectors tick are in fact engaged in small-scale activities where efficiency and productivity are severely inhibited by their overwhelming dependence on outdated work methods.
In a word, his message was that Tanzanians have made do with lack of affordable modern technology for too long and time is ripe for them to engage much better strategies and methods that promise more handsome returns on investment little effort. Now, anyone “preaching the gospel” of removing the sting of drudgery from the activities our people preoccupy themselves with at least for survival’s sake is spreading word on the benefits the national initiative popularly known as ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ (literally, ‘Agriculture First’), whose staunchest advocates and supporters apart from the government include the Tanzania National Business Council. It is under the theme of ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ and its implementation that policies and strategies for the transformation of the country’s agriculture are now being discussed. This is in recognition of the fact that, all things considered, some of the greatest challenges facing the country relate to ways to combat poverty – and that enhanced agricultural productivity is one of the most realistic options.
A substantial portion of Pinda’s remarks in the National Assembly on Tuesday essentially revolved around the need for stakeholders such as the private sector to support ‘Kilimo Kwanza’, which is widely seen as Tanzania’s version of a revolution meant to transform agriculture into a modern commercial sector.
Political will is given as one of the ten pillars on which the success of the initiative’s implementation depends. The others include ready availability of farmland, access to infrastructure and other incentives meant to stimulate investment in agriculture, and the sensitisation of the citizenry on the need to participate in the implementation of the initiative.
Part of the core of the PM-elect’s thanksgiving address underscored the importance of Tanzania and its development partners throwing their full weight behind efforts to revamp the country’s agricultural sector. This should inspire the entire nation into helping make ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ tick.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN