Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Govt insists cultivation of drought-resistant crops in food shortage plagued areas

Tanzania government has urged its citizens particularly those affected by food shortages to plant drought resistant crops including sorghum and millet.  Director of the Department of Disaster from the Office of the Prime Minister, Brigadier General Mbazi Msuya made the call on Tuesday this week when speaking to Iguluba and Mkulula villagers of Malengamakali Ward, Isimani Division in Iringa Region. Brigadier General Msuya said the government will give the citizens sorghum seeds free of charge to plant this season. The Director of the Department of Disaster and his delegation were in the district to assess the state of food insecurity. While there, he reassured the citizens of government support. “No citizen will die of hunger,” he pledged. Brigadier General Msuya and his team also witnessed distribution of relief food to households affected by food shortage in the Igingilanyi village and said the government is aware that food was not enough to cover all needs and pledged to bring more. Over 70,000 people Iringa District face food shortages caused by low rainfall last season. While they thanked the government for the relief food, many asked for dams to enable irrigation farming for watering the promised drought resistant seeds. Recently, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa reassured citizens that Tanzania has enough food reserves to provide relief food if need be. “Nobody will starve, relief food will be available to feed all in need,” said Majaliwa at the start of the week when he inspected the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) in Songea as part of his recent official visit to Ruvuma Region. He said the government through the Disaster Management Unit has put in place strategies to respond to any hunger threat in areas that suffer food shortages. “As government, we are aware that there are areas which are in need of relief food. I can assure you all that nobody will die of hunger,” the Premier said. “This is my responsibility to ensure that I supervise this exercise, I have seen the status of our food reserves and we have enough maize stock, though the storage isn’t enough,” admitted the PM. Worth noting is the fact that Songea has six of the country’s 33 silos.

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