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United Nations to boost rural economies in Tanzania

Approximate reading time: 3 minutes

World Food Programme plans to purchase 75,000 metric tonnes of maize from Tanzania this year but the quantity could rise.

 

Rural areas are among the most underdeveloped regions in many African countries.

Challenges such as poor transport network, lack of electricity, insecurity among others have turned off investors’ faith to establish businesses in such places. Despite their promising and alluring potential, the investment risks seem to overshadow the benefits accrued to the opportunities presented. Efforts such as financial injections to transform such places into industrialized economies have been a struggle.

However, the remote areas are receiving help to help better the lives of the settler. Non-profit organization World Food Programme (WFP) has stepped up to revive the hopes of small-scale maize farmers in Tanzania rural by vowing to buy maize directly from them. The branch of the United Nations will purchase the cash crop from the cultivators to support their efforts in the agricultural sector.

The gesture will also increase their productivity to have enough for local consumption and export. One of the barriers they face is post-harvest losses. The predicament has haunted Government officials and agriculture bodies in seek of solutions to feed its citizens. Importation of food is expensive and could cause a trade deficit, which has a negative ripple effect on the economy. It mounts debt receipts and hinders the productivity level of a nation which leaves the state underdeveloped.

Prolonged droughts and famine have been a subject of discussion among key market players, mining for solutions to the natural phenomena. Reduced water levels have limited excellent performance of hydro-power as a reliable energy resource to propel businesses. Limited rainfall has had an adverse effect on farming, leading to immature harvest at the end of the season.

WFP has looked into such matters and addressed them accordingly in a bid to deal with food insecurity. However some challenges such as the invasion of fall armyworm have compromised both the quality and quantity of cash crops in many African countries. Scientists have been seeking solutions, with financial expenditure demanding as well. The pest destroyed hectares of crops that drained Governments millions of monies.

WFP has gone a step further to help them access extension services such as educational programmes and pieces of training to bolster their productivity and status. The responsibility for such structures is to equip the farmers with knowledge of agricultural practices to increase their outputs. The information such as marketing tips and crop management does not only build them holistically but increase their ability to use their resources to the maximum potential.

45% of cultivated areas in Tanzania fall under maize production. In 2016, AgriKnowledge recorded that 3.5 million farmers cultivate maize. 90% of its production is consumed locally with the remaining set for exports. the production of corn in Tanzania could rise with the introduction of GMO seeds. The Parliament is cautious of the bio-mechanism implemented but scientists and experts have backed-up the plan to fight food insecurity.

Source: The Exchange

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