“This would ensure that the sector plays a pivotal role in Tanzania’s industrialization endeavors,” the minister said over the weekend, noting that the growth and development agriculture would stimulate growth of other sectors of economy.
Inaugurating the new Kilombero Cluster for the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor for Tanzania (SAGCOT) here, Hasunga said the overall goal was to transform the sector for the general good of the country’s economy.
“We will strive to create an enabling environment for agriculture to thrive…We will transform the sector in such a way that small scale farmers are able to get all their required inputs. At the same time, we will thrive to create the middle level of farmers while also attracting large scale investments,” he said.
The Kilombero Cluster, which basically covers the entire Morogoro Region, is the third one (cluster) for SAGCOT.
Other clusters include: Ihemi Cluster and Mbalali. The former covers Iringa and Njombe regions while the latter covers Mbeya and Songwe regions. Three more clusters are in the pipeline.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture will soon convene a meeting that will bring together all stakeholders to a dialogue on how to develop the sector for the country’s economic benefits.
“The idea is to bring all stakeholders to a forum so they can talk on how we can develop the sector,” he said.
Th Kilombero Cluster launch event was also attended by Hasunga's two deputies—Innocent Bashungwa and Omari Mgumba as well as regional commissioners for Mbeya, Iringa and Morogoro among other notable guests.
The Iringa Regional Commissioner, Ali Hapi and his Mbeya counterpart, Albert Chalamila spent some time detailing how SAGCOT has helped to attract agricultural related investments into their areas and how it has transformed small scale farmers from subsistence to commercial ones.
According to the SAGCOT Centre chief executive officer, Geoffrey Kirenga, at least US$500 million has been invested in the SAGCOT area since the project started.
“The goal is to have a total of US$3.5billion invested into the area until 2030,” he said.
Hasunga said if there was a policy that hinders investments into the sector then it has to be changed. “If there is a law that prevents investors from putting their money into agriculture, we have Members of Parliament whose duty is to make laws that work for the people,” he said