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NEWSLETTER 1June- July, 2010
WEB SYSTEM SET TO BRINGREVOLUTION IN ECONOMY
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Tanzania hurries to bring about green revolution...Pg3
Dar hunts for investors to boost food security...Pg4
As Tanzania government officials were busy making final touches in their ministries’ respective budgets for 2010/11 financial year in the country’s main sea port and commercial city of Dar es Salaam.In Morogoro town, 200 kilometres west of Dar es Salaam, a very important and equally busy three days working session related, somewhat, to the budget was taking place.The Morogoro working session made up of 14 experts were drawn from the Secretariat of the CountrySTAT, a web based system designed for Tanzania by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in August, 200 The organization of the working session was made possible by the countrySTAT Secretariat comprising staff from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives in collabora-tion with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).Although the Morogoro session was made up of a very small team compared to the over 232 Members of Parliament and ministers, who were then preparing to attend a parliamentary
budget session in Dodoma town, central Tanzania, in two weeks time.It was indisputable that the success or otherwise of the august Parliamen-tary session, heavily depended on the success of the Morogoro session.The importance of the Morogoro session lay in the fact that the 14 experts were working on data that would be required, for planning and decision making process of any kind, by senior officials in the over five key ministries in the country.The ministries includes that of Livestock Development and Fisheries, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Ministry of Industries, Trade and Marketing, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives.Whatever budgetary allocation approved by the Parliament for each of the five key ministries, the execution of their projects depended on the quality, hence reliability of the data doggedly worked on and finally uploaded in the CountrySTAT website by the 14 experts.The working session was officially opened in
NEWSLETTERJune -July, 20102
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President JakayaKikwete addressesinvited guestsbefore launchingKilimo KwanzaProgramme
Morogoro on May 9th this year by the Principal Statistician from the NBS who also happens to be the CountrySTAT National Coordinator, Mrs Joyce Urasa. In the words of Mrs Urasa, the main objective of the Morogoro working session was threefold:Firstly, to update data already published in the CountrySTAT website.Secondly, to collect new data from Agriculture sector ministries, departments and agencies (laconically referred to as MDAs) for publishing purposes and lastly, to further explain and orient members on the importance of abiding to FAOs Data Structure, Concepts and Definitions while compiling data for publication.The working session officially started, after welcoming remarks by Mrs Urasa, with two presenta-tions.The first presentation dwelt on the CountrySTAT database for end users that include, among others, decision makers and analysts.And the second presentation dealt with the main motive behind the organization of the working session, namely how to create px files. PX is a term used in reference to the packaged data as they appear on the website, and in this particu-lar case, the CountrySTAT website.Mrs Urasa says the impor-tance of the latter lay in the fact that there were four new participants who had joined the group of experts for the first time, hence requiring guidance on how to create px filesTwo of the four new entrants were from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security
and Cooperatives, one from the Tanzania Revenue Authority, TRA, and the fourth one was from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.The two presentations also contained a recap, for old members, before starting the main activities of the session.
After the end of the two presentations, experts started work on the data they had brought in from different ministries and departments.The main activity, she said, was to re-arrange data and transform them into px files and thereafter, include the necessary metadata.On the last day of the working session on June 11, all px files were collected by facilitators and put into CountrySTAT database.At this stage, an overhead projector was used for presentations during which discussions for each table set in.The National Coordinator says comments made in the course of presentations, were quite useful in that they helped modifying tables in order to make them more attractive.All in all, a total of 24 tables were worked on out of which four were new.Before the curtain on the working session was officially brought down, there was a long discussion on who should be addressed as a contact person for the metadata section of the table.The foregoing discussion was important because such a person could be directly contacted by, among others, data users in case of any problem or if one required clarification on the uploaded data.During the discussions, two
schools of thoughts emerged. The first one felt the need to address the head of the department/institution from where the table originates.
However, the second school of thought felt differently, that an e-mail address of a person who lastly updated the table should be written.However, the experts finally compromised for the second school of thought but on condition that efforts should be made to seek clarification, on the issue from the FAO.Another issue that required the intervention of the FAO, in terms of clarification, related to exports and imports for various commodities.For instance, the format of the CountrySTAT database in the National and Sub-national core requires many tables related exports and imports for various commodities.In the case of Tanzania, the only source for these data is the Tanzania Revenue Authority.However, there is problem here. The commodities coding system used by the TRA is not compatible with that of the FAO,For example, while the TRA uses a single code for exported sheep and goats, the FAO coding system requires separation of these two types of livestock.It was thus recommended that efforts be made to seek advice from the FAO on how this issue could be handled and thereby cause it to be published in as many tables as possible for commodity imports and exports.While still on the need to seek the FAO’s intervention on various issues, one may
Why should the experts bother themselves with the United Nations’ organization on issues related to Tanzania’s commodities?The point is the FAO did not only initiate joint collection of, processing and storage of data for the over five key ministries, but also helped in designing, in 2008, what could in a lay man’s language be described as the main host for keeping such data, the website that goes by the name of CountrySTAT.What is more, these web-based system is not only confined to Tanzania, but also in 17 other Sub-Saharan countries that include its neighbours in East Africa, Kenya and Uganda.
Perhaps one point worth noting here is the inherent nature of the two arguments that revolved around the penning of addresses below the tables.The two arguments carried along the important questions of transparency and accountability.Indeed, the fact that the experts showed their involvement both in detail and commitment, just goes to demonstrate how serious they are in ensuring that nothing is left to chance.Such an attitude on the part of the experts is surely another fillip to Tanzania’s latest kid on the block, the country’s agricultural policy-Kilimo Kwanza (agricultural first).
Closing the workshop, Mrs Urasa called on the experts to keep on compiling data that are available in various publications within their respective MDAs and send them to ContrySTAT Secretariat.
NEWSLETTER 3June- July, 2010
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By CorrespondentAttilio Tagalile
There are all signs thatTanzania is this timearound determinedto succeed not onlyin bringing about
self-sufficiency in food, but alsoin transforming the country intoa breadbasket nation for sub-Saharan Africa.
It is apparent that thegovernment of the day has finallyrealized that it is only throughagriculture, which supports about70 percent of the population thatit would be able to conquer oneof its most pressing enemies,poverty.
But the government is alsofully aware that if it is to succeed,it must do something about theuse of archaic farm implementsby a sizable section of its peas-antry population.
Such archaic equipmentincludes the back-breaking hand-hoe and unscientific methods.
And unnlike in the past, thistime around the country’s leadagricultural ministries led by theMinistry of Agriculture, FoodSecurity and Cooperatives, isbuoyed by the launching, in onFebruary 24th this year (2010),of what has come to be knownas the CountrySTAT Tanzania, a
web based system.Through the web-based sys-
tem, policy and decision makersin the agricultural led ministriescan easily access and therebymake full use of statistical data inthe system.
Apart from the Ministry ofAgriculture, Food Security andCooperatives, other agriculturelead ministries include the Minis-try of Livestock Development andFisheries, the Ministry of Waterand Irrigation, the Prime Minis-ter’s Office, Regional Administra-tion and Local Government andthe Ministry of Natural Resourcesand Tourism.
Again, unlike in the pastwhen top flight decision mak-ers in such lead agriculturalministries used to grope in thedark, if you like, in their questto turn around the country’sagricultural fortune, this time theywould, through the CountrySTATweb-based system be able towork their production goals moreefficiently and scientifically.
Although it is perhapstoo early to say, with certainty,whether or not the governmentwill win in its green revolutionhowever, there are several fac-tors which clearly point towardssuch determination.
For instance, one of suchfactors is the very promulga-
tion, mid last year (2009), of thecountry’s agricultural blue printwhich has come to be knownin Kiswahili as Kilimo Kwanza,agricultural first.
Unfortunately, Tanzanianshave in the past witnessed twoearlier such agricultural blueprints come a cropper after beingpromulgated with pomp andpageantry!
The first such agriculturalblue print, which came to beknown in Kiswahili as Siasa niKilimo (agriculture is politics),was promulgated in 1971 at theheight of the implementation ofthe policy of Socialism and Self-Reliance or Ujamaa in Kiswahili.
The promulgation of theagricultural policy, aimed at bring-ing about self-sufficiency in food,hence reducing, in the process,poverty was preceded by theparty’s central committee meet-ing in Iringa town, in southernhighland region.
But over a decade, after thepromulgation of Siasa ni Kilimo,Tanzania was still beset withfood shortage, with the differencebetween the haves and have notcontinuing to grow.
And as if that was notenough, Tanzania later founditself locked in a war with neigh-bouring Uganda.
This had followed the inva-
Tanzania hurries to bring about green revolution
sion of its north-western part of the countryknown as the Kagera Salient by General IddAmin’s troops in October 1978 just as thereappeared, on the horizon, the proverbiallight at the end of the country’s economictunnel!
Although Tanzania went on to win theeight months bush war in May 1979, drivingout Idd Amin from Uganda, it was however,immediately beset by a telling drought thatled to untold food shortage.
The bitter experience gained from thefood shortage forced the government tocome up with yet another agricultural policy,again aimed at bringing about self-suffi-ciency in food and poverty reduction, whichcame to be known in Kiswahili as Kilimo chaKufa na Kupona, agriculture as a matter oflife and death.
But like the first agricultural policy,Siasa ni Kilimo, the second policy failed tobring about the desired results-namely, thecountry’s self-sufficiency in food and povertyreduction.
It was therefore not surprising thatwhen President Kikwete announced hisgovernment’s commitment to anotheragricultural development strategy throughKilimo Kwanza mid last year, the policy wasdismissed both by the growing oppositionand seasoned analysts as yet another ployto hoodwink the people for political ends.
Knowing the existence of the foregoingmindset, Kikwete’s administration now ap-pears to be well aware of two things:
Firstly, that it must, under any circum-stances ensure that it wins, in its presenteffort to bring about the green revolution.
Secondly, and more importantly, thatthe time for fulfilling such a noble task isunfortunately not on the government’s side!
However, what favours Kikwete’sadministration this time around unlike hispredecessor and the founding father of theTanzanian nation, Dr Nyerere, is that KilimoKwanza is not a wholly government ownedthing.
The government’s role in the imple-mentation of this policy revolves morearound facilitation than anything else.
Main players are to be found in theprivate sector with the Tanzania BusinessCouncil (TANBC), a purely privately ownedand run body of businessmen and women,serving as the coordinator in the implemen-tation of the policy.
In the words of the spokesman of theMinistry of Agriculture, Food Security andCooperatives, Mr Richard Kasuga:
“What makes Kilimo Kwanza differentfrom the two earlier agricultural policy dif-ferent from the first two earlier policies, andtherefore, destined to succeed is that thelatest policy is more than agriculture.
What is more, says Mr Kasuga, “thisis privately driven, hence saved quite con-siderably from cumbersome governmentbureaucray”.
The agricultural officer-cum-commu-nications officer explains that unlike in thepast when the government was expectedto implement everything and as expectedended up getting nowhere, every sector inthe country is required to play a role in theimplementation of this policy.
In fact, nothing reflects the urgencywith which Kikwete’s administration cur-rently looks at attaining success in agricul-ture than what transpired in Dodoma town,when Tanzania marked at national level, lastmonth, the na-
NEWSLETTERJune -July, 20104
Dar hunts for investors to boost food securityBy Attilio Tagalile
Tanzania has al-located the SouthKorean government100,000 hectares ofland for irrigation of
food crops and establishmentof agro-based industries inRufiji basin, located slightlyover 100 kilometers south ofTanzania’s commercial city ofDar es Salaam.
The decision is a resultof a visit to the South Koreancapital city of Seoul, earlythis year (2010) by TanzaniaPrime Minister, Mr MizengoPinda, who talked the SouthKorean government or its pri-vate companies into investingin agriculture in the basin.
The basin, the biggestin the country, covers eightregions, almost one third ofthe country.
The basin has a total of622,000 hectares all of whichare potential for irrigationpurposes.
The coming in of SouthKoreans for the 100,000hectares is considered byanalysts to be just one of thebigger things to come fromone of the emerging globaleconomic giants.
Many analysts stronglybelieve that the South Kore-ans are testing the grounds,as it were, that they are likelyto seek more hectares forirrigation purposes.
Once they are throughwith feasibility studies on the100, 000 plus hectares for
paddy irrigation, the new landunder irrigation would bringtotal paddy irrigation in thecountry to 1m hectares frompresent 905,000 hectaresuntil June this year (2010),according to the CountrySTATTanzania web-based system.
This is certainly a nomean increase for Tanzaniawhich is literally struggling, asa result of lack of funds, to putmore of its potential land forirrigation under cultivation.
In May this year (2010),the Deputy Director for Irriga-tion in the Ministry of Waterand Irrigation, Mr GabrielKalinga told the CountrySTATTanzania web-site that thecountry’s irrigation potentialstood at 29m hectares.
However, if like thehunting lioness in Africa’sSavannah plains, the SouthKoreans elected to go for thejugular vein by gobbling upthe rest of the 522,000 irri-gable land on the Rufiji basin,paddy irrigation in Tanzaniawould rise up to 1.527mhectares, once again, basedon statistical data availed bythe CountrySTAT Tanzaniaweb-based system.
The beauty of the Coun-trySTAT Tanzania web-basedsystem, if one may somewhatdigress here, is that whoeveris interested in Tanzania’sagricultural development orwhenever there is any notableprogress in the field, one canalways gauge the economicextent or stride from theCountrySTAT Tanzania web-
based system.The basin which is
traversed by one of thebiggest rivers in the country,Rufiji River, is under anauthority laconically referredto as RUBADA (Rufiji BasinDevelopment Authority) andwas established through anAct of Parliament Number 5of 1975.
By bringing in SouthKoreans, it is the hope of theTanzanian government thatthey will help it in realizing itsobjective of attaining a greenrevolution through its agricul-tural policy of Kilimo Kwanza,agriculture first.
It is planned that out of100,000 hectares, 50,000would be provided to Tanzani-ans, through the supervisionof the South Koreans, for usein irrigation-based, scientificagricultural development.
And the remaining50,000 hectares would beused by South Koreansin setting up agro-basedindustries.
One of the main objec-tives of such agro-based in-dustries is to add value to thecountry’s varied agriculturalproduce that include fruits.
For instance one of themost interesting phenomenawhich is used to describe Tan-zanians’ collective failure tomake use of their arable landis that during mango seasonin Tanzania, there is not asingle country in the worldthat produces mangoes!
What this means is that
Tanzania could have easilytransformed itself into a netexporter of the succulent fruitthroughout the world duringits mango season.
In 1974, the Japanesegovernment had tried to talkthe founding father of theTanzanian nation, Dr JuliusNyerere into providing themwith the land on the basin, foragricultural investment, butthe move failed.
According to theJapanese government, paddyirrigation in the basin couldhave yielded over 25millionbags of rice which could havefed the entire populationwhich was then slightly overten million.
The implication of this isthat by late 1970s, Tanzaniacould have been in a positionto export over 15million bagsof rice, hence transformingthe country into a net exporterof the produce.
If one considers the factthe country’s present food de-mand (for 42m people) standsat 11million bags of cerealsper annum, Tanzania wouldhave continued, to date, to bea net exporter of rice had theJapanese government beenallowed to invest in the Rufijibasin then.
That Tanzania is nowbusy, seeking investors inter-ested in putting their moneyfor agricultural developmentin the basin just goes to showthe government’s com-mitment in ensuring that itsucceeds in the realization of
its Kilimo Kwanza agriculturalpolicy.
According to the RubadaExecutive Director, Mr AloyceMasanja, the agriculturalproject on the 100,000 hect-ares would require infusionof millions of shillings whichwould be acquired in the formof loans from banks in SouthKorea.
He said exact sum ofmoney required for invest-ment was presently notknown.
He however, said thatsuch a sum would becomepublic as soon as the SouthKoreans finish feasibility stud-ies on the project.
Mr Masanja said planswere now underway to placethe basin under agriculturaldevelopment for a five yearprogramme which starts from2010/11 to 2014/15.
The latest move isapparently one of Tanzaniagovernment’s plans to boostfood security.
Apart from the basin’shigh potential for irrigation,246,500 hectares are not onlyfertile and thereby suitable forany agricultural development,but are also exposed to reli-able rainfall.
Mr Masanja said underthe Tanzania/South SouthKorea agreement, the latteris required to use 10,000hectares for demonstrating toTanzanian farmers on how toirrigate, scientifically, paddyfields.
tion’s Farmers’ Day known in Kiswahilias Nane Nane (eight-eight) which falls,every year, on 8th August, 2010.
During his address to the nation,President Kikwete called on thoseinvolved in manufacturing farmingequipment in the country to go for whathe aptly described as appropriate, butcheap farm implements.
He said if the country was to bringabout agricultural revolution, then ithad no alternative but to discard theback-breaking, traditional hand-hoeby going for more superior, but cheapfarming implements.
The significance of PresidentKikwete’s speech which was broadcastlive both by television and radio lay inthe fact that it came at a time whenTanzania was also marking the firstanniversary of Kilimo Kwanza.
It was during the same speechthat the president announced thegovernment’s decision to waive tax forimported tractors.
What this means is that whoeverimports a tractor will from now onwards
only be required to pay storage charg-es. But even then, such an importerwould do so if he or she has failed tobeat the two weeks grace period setby the Tanzania Port Authority, TPA,on its ports.
Otherwise an imported tractor ischarged nothing.
The government’s decision is verysignificant if one takes into account thefact that the minimum a used sportsutility vehicle (SUV) is charged 3000US dollars (4.56m Tanzanian shillings:present dollar rate to shilling 1:1520/-)in taxes.
The president also called ondistrict councils in the country tomake full use of part of the budgetallocated to them in buying tractors foruse, through hire by farmers, in theirrespective areas.
Kikwete’s administration has alsoincreased by 7.8 percent the nationalagricultural budget from 200m USdollars (203.3bn Tanzanian shillings)when he first came to power in 2006 to700m US dollars (909.8bn Tanza-nian shillings) in the current 2010/11
financial year.However, this year’s national
budgetary allocation falls far short ofwhat members of the African Union,AU, are required by the continentalorganization (that stands at 10 percentof the national budget) in the quest tofight against hunger and reduce, in theprocess, poverty in respective Africanstates.
Both President Kikwete and histechnocrat Prime Minister, Mr MizengoPinda, have publicly admitted that themoney presently allocated to agricul-ture is still low.
But they have both vowed to raiseit in the next financial year, for a start,by the required ten percent.
However, one area the govern-ment will have to work extremely hardon, if it is to succeed in turning aroundits agricultural potential, is in produc-tion of seeds.
Presently, Tanzania heavily relieson seeds imports and last year it im-ported 75 percent of its seeds require-ment from United States of America.
Unfortunately the end result of
such massive seed import was thatthe country got very poor yields dueto different climatic changes betweenTanzania and the United States ofAmerica.
President Kikwete has, as a re-sult, directed the Ministry of Agriculture,Food Security and Cooperatives towork on seeds development and pro-duction in their own research institutes.
The implication of such a directiveis that the government will be required,beginning next financial year, to pumpin more money to the ministry so thatits agricultural research institutes couldproduce appropriate seeds variety forthe country.
As agricultural lead ministries getdown to business in their endeavourto implement President Kikwete’sdirectives, it is important that nothing islost on the foregoing ministries’ enginedrivers-Permanent Secretaries, on theimportance for all players in the minis-tries to be reminded of the existence,hence the dire need to make use ofthe CountrySTAT Tanzania web-basedsystem in their day to day operation.
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Tanzania hurries to bring about green revolution