The government of Tanzania has launched a fertiliser subsidy programme. The ceremony was marked by the country’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan who said farmers are set to enjoy massive subsidy over fertiliser during the 2022/23 season.
According to Agriculture minister Hussein Bashe, under the subsidy arrangement, the government will pay for a Sh52,000 subsidy. A bag of DAP that was sold for Sh131,675 will now cost Sh70,000 only, while that of Urea, which used to fetch Sh124,714, will cost Sh70,000 only. A bag of CAN, which used to fetch Sh108,156 will now sell at Sh60,000 while that of NPKs, which cost Sh122,695 will now cost Sh70,000.
The program is part of President Hassan’s Agenda 10/30 that was launched in April. The ‘Ajenda 10/30’ details the Agriculture ministry’s efforts to rally both public and private sectors to turn around the fortunes of millions of Tanzanians earning a living in the agriculture value-chain. With ‘Kilimo ni Biashara’ as its clarion call, the agenda aims to attain an impressive 10 percent annual growth rate for the sector that is the livelihood source for some 65 percent of Tanzanians.
The target is set to be met by 2030. The current growth rate is a measly two per cent while the government’s five year development plan projects the growth at 5.7% by 2025. According to Agricultural Council of Tanzania chairperson Jacqueline Mkindi, the private sector was convinced that the government was going in the right direction as far as revolutionizing the agricultural sector was concerned. The fertilizer subsidy programme comes within just weeks after the government raised the budget for agriculture from Sh251 billion in the 2021/22 financial year to a staggering Sh951 billion.
“It is now clear that agriculture will grow at an enhanced rate. The focus on irrigation means that ours will now be a sustainable agriculture as opposed to the one that is dependent on rain,” she said.
“While the government has set aside funds for fertilizer subsidy, I would like to ask farmers to cultivate commercially to enable us harvest enough food so we will export the surplus. Generated funds should enable us establish the Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) for providing assistance to farmers during fertilizer and inputs price shocks,” she added.