DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzanians are losing 748 million U.S. dollars
each year from failure to export agro-processing products and
importation of agro-processed products, according to the latest
report released by Agricultural Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF).
The ANSAF Executive
Secretary, Audax Rukonge, released the data at an
agro-stakeholders dialogue held here.
“We are incurring
huge revenue losses annually due to failure of processing
agro-products. This country has huge opportunities to create
better jobs and earn millions of dollars every year, but due to
policy gaps there are lost opportunities,” said Rukonge.
According to ANSAF
figures; annual loss from export of raw cashew nuts accounts to
110 million dollars, edible oil imports valued at 358 million
dollars, sugar imports at 250 million dollars, while milk
products imports account at 20 million dollars and annual
imports of skins and hides value at 20 million dollars, giving a
total of 748 million dollars.
“We have to
implement our policies and strategies like Kilimo Kwanza
(Agriculture comes First) instead of too much talking. We have
more than 200 policies on agriculture,” said Rukonge.
The Ministry of
Trade and Industry’s Director of Small and Medium Enterprises,
Consolata Ishebabi, said that the government was for building
attractive business environment for increasing productivity and
competitiveness of the sector because Tanzania is living in a
global village with higher level of competition.
“We are taking the
advices from whichever partner, but one thing needs to be clear
is that when we are discussing about policy issues we have to
take in mind that capacity of Tanzanians to spur agricultural
investments must be improved,” said Ishebabi.
underdeveloped agriculture that employs over 70 percent of the
country’s population of about 50 million, who contribute to 4.3
percent of GDP, according to an official 2015 report.