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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Tanzania has sufficient food reserves: confirms senior official 

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- A senior Tanzanian official on Thursday allayed fears of food shortage, saying the east African nation has enough food to meet requirements.

“Farmers will also have to export surplus crop harvests,” said William Ole Nasha, the country’s Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

Launching a website for the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) in the political capital Dodoma, Nasha said the country produced 123 percent of the food requirements during the last season.

“Basically, the rule is that we must harvest between 100 and 120 percent to be sure that we have enough food and therefore, anything above that is regarded as surplus. “

Nasha said NFRA will this year keep 200,000 tonnes of cereals in its reserves in case relief supplies were needed to areas that might face food deficits.

He said this amounted to 50,000 tonnes more than what NFRA needed to maintain the optimal level of food reserves to address local food shortage and respond to immediate emergency food requirements across the country.

Nasha said the recent ban on food exports was a deliberate move, meant to ensure that the country has enough food amid a poor food situation within the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC) regions.

“In SADC, out of the 15 countries, 13 including South Africa have food shortages while within the EAC, shortages have been reported in Kenya and in South Sudan,” said the official.

Nasha urged NFRA to ensure that Tanzanians were able to access all the vital information, including food availability, prices of various crops and the beginning of the market season, among others, on the just launched website.

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