Dar es Salaam: President Jakaya Kikwete has said that the government has waived taxes on tractors, as an effort to help the peasant farmers to do away with a hand-hoe. Speaking at the climax of Nane Nane Day at Nzuguni grounds here on Sunday, the president said that the government wants agriculture to make headway by introducing modern farming.
He directed all the district councils to buy tractors using funds given to them by the central government. 'The government has been giving a lot of funds every year to all district councils and I would like them to buy tractors', he said. He said that the government has given the agricultural sector a top priority in budget allocation and efforts have started to pay off.
President Kikwete said that the government has set aside 909.8bn/- during the 2010/11 financial year for the agriculture sector alone.
'This is a lot of money, taking into account that in 2005 the government allocated only 203.3bn/- for the sector', he said.
He said this was an increase of 7.8 per cent whereby the government target is to reach 10 per cent of the total budget. 'Despite these efforts, the budget is not enough to meet the growing demands in the agricultural sector,' he said.
He said that there was shortage of seeds, adding that 75 per cent of the demand has been imported from the US. He said that the imported seeds have failed to produce good yield due to the different climatic change between Tanzania and the US.
He advised the ministry of agriculture, food security and cooperatives to work out plans to build capacity to local research institutions, so that they can offer better solution on the best seeds that can match with the Tanzanian climate.
President Kikwete said that about 30bn/- has been set aside for seeds research. 'But the funds are not enough. We still have to look for more funds,' he said.
The local seed production has improved to 16,000 tones compared to 10,477 tonnes in 2005; an increase of 60 per cent.