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Tanzania loses agro revenue of over US $700 million annually

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.

Tanzania has 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.


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