Monday, January 12, 2015
Govt to formalize rural properties to enhance cash crop production
The government has embarked on the third and fourth phase of its land transformation programme whereby it would concentrate more on the activities of empowering rural farmers in rich cash crop production regions in the country. The programme currently being undertaken by the President’s Office is run under Property and Business Formalization Programme commonly known by its Kiswahili acronym “Mkurabita” with the aim of ensuring that farmers get village land title deeds on which to develop their small scale farming activities. The Development Communication Specialist for the programme, Gloria Mbilimonywa said on Friday last week in Dar es Salaam that, already the government has started to provide crucial training to farmers in five districts in the country. She mentioned the districts and the specific cash crop targeted in their brackets as Njombe (Tea crop), Rungwe (Tea crop), Mufindi (Tea crop), Tandahimba (Cashew nuts crop) and Manyoni (Sunflower crop). She said in other two districts of Kilombero and Misenyi they had already started training on the use of land for farmers on the development of sugarcane crops which is used for the production of sugar in their respective industries. According to Gloria, this is a starting point and the Presidents’ office will be coordinating with the districts councils in the country upon ensuring that, the latter issues village land titles which will bear two different emblems, that of the council concern together with that of the national emblem. However, she noted that, his office will be cooperating with various Banks with a view to offer long terms loans to be acquired by farmers and use the title deeds as collaterals. “We involve in issuing land title deeds in accordance with the Land Act in section 5 that describes individual ownership of land property for every individual in the country”, she said. However, she addced that, Banks in this programme in order to empower small scale farmers who would be in need of taking loans which might help them promote their agricultural activities”, she said adding that, the programme will spread all over the country sooner.
When asked what they do in areas whereby land crisis is alarming as the case has emerged in some areas in the country, she noted that, they have ordered district officials to settle such disputes once and for all before the programme take off. In Agricultural sector, the Mkurabita programme undertake the initiative to teach small scale farmers on the best use of land and the use of agricultural machineries including the use of fertilizers so as the increase the crop production yields. Under the programme, farmers are being taught on how to take care of their land and how to use best seeds durin g planting seasons of the year depending on the weather that influences the growth of a crop at a particular season. On her part, the Programme Coordinator Scraphia Mgembe said that, the Mkurabita programme is also trying to maintain a good relationship between farmers and the banks in the country. She said the pragramme aims to bring closer farmers to the relevant authorities in order to be empowered wherever possible and get out of abject poverty. She said that, this iks a sustainable programme which once it at its peak, it will benefit most Tanzanians citing currently lack of fund has been drawing back progresses intended for the year. The programme whose activity aims to target mainly unprivileged people in rural areas helps farmers to become knowledgeable on the best use of agricultural cash crop production whose output are the backbone of the country’s economy. The Program was established in 2004 and it seeks to facilitate formalization of property and business assets in the extralegal sector, into legally held and formally operated entities in the formal sector of the economy. The ultimate goal is to economically empower property and business owners in the informal sector whose entry into the formal market economy will enhance their opportunities in using their assets to access capital and thus improve national economic growth and reduce individual household poverty.