The Government of Tanzania in collaboration with Rice stakeholders in the country is committed to increasing food security in the East African region as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and becoming a beacon for the rice market in regional communities through implementation of the Second National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS).
This was stated on 18th May 2021 by the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Prof. Siza Tumbo who was represented by Maregesi Geoffrey, the Agricultural Engineer from the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Training, Extension Services and Research at the opening of the Regional conference involving various stakeholders in the value chain of the rice crop held in Dar es Salaam and organized and the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) project of which the Sokoine University of Agriculture is a member.
“In collaboration with various stakeholders, The Ministry of Agriculture is committed to ensuring that we increase the area of rice production from 1.1 million hectares in 2018 to 2.2 million hectares by 2030 and thus increase production from 2.2 tons per current hectare to tons 4.4 by 2030 ” Stressed Engineer Maregesi.
He added that other measures that will be implemented are to strengthen marketing and trade systems, increase access to fertilizer and distribution, strengthen irrigated agriculture and promote its technologies while reducing post-harvest crop losses from 30 percent to 10 percent by 2030.
He added that rice is one of the most important food crops produced in almost all regions in the country in more than 26 districts which for the 2018 survey produces 2,219,628 million tons.
APRA Project Lead Researcher for Tanzania, Prof. Aida Isinika explaining the objectives of the regional conference to the stakeholders of the value chain of the Tanzania Rice crop during the opening of the conference.
Speaking before welcoming the official guest to open the Conference, the lead researcher and head of the APRA project on the Tanzanian side, Prof. Aida Isinika from the Sokoine University of Agriculture called on all rice crop stakeholders in the country to organize themselves to ensure Tanzania become self-sufficient in the crop and continue to be a leading rice producer for East African countries.
"We all know that Tanzania is a leader in the production of rice in this region of East Africa but we must realize that there are various countries now coming fast in increasing productivity so all stakeholders must plan for our country to become a world market leader in rice crop” stressed Prof. Isinika
Prof. Isinika said the world's largest rice producers have reached their potential productivity and are now looking at the African continent as it still has great production opportunities and so Tanzania must be more prepared to take advantage of the many opportunities available to produce and export instead of relying on imports from outside the country.
The APRA project leader thanked all the stakeholders in the value chain who agreed to participate in this important meeting which will look at all the key areas in particular and come up with resolutions on best practices that will help achieve those national goals together.
Ms. Ridda Dally, from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), giving her message during the opening of the conference.
Greeting on behalf of the other stakeholders of the conference in the value chain, the Agricultural Projects Officer of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Ms. Ridda Dally said for many years they have been working with various stakeholders as well as the government in supporting the development of rice crops in the country and will continue to participate to achieve the goals.
She said that rice is one of the crops that contribute to the development of the people and the nation that is why JICA decided to fund the task force that was preparing the first and second National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS) whose goal was to increase production of the crop so the conference will help come up with better strategies to implement the plan.
The co-ordinator of the meeting, Dr. Christopher Magomba explaining the schedule and how the meeting will be held for all three days.
The three day conference includes various stakeholders in the entire rice crop value chain in the country where on the first day they discussed Tanzania's plans and on the second and third day the conference hopes to include other stakeholders from all over the world where more than 500 will participate through the Internet.
Photo of the participants of the conference who are stakeholders in the value chain of the Rice crop in Tanzania
Read more information about the conference at East Africa Rice Conference 2021 (18-20 May 2021)
Participants from across the country following the opening of the three-day conference in Dar es Salaam
Story and Photo Credits: Calvin Edward Gwabara - SUAMEDIA