ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago will
soon reduce importation of rice following increasing
production of the commodity in recent years, a senior
official said on Thursday.
Mohamed, Zanzibar’s Minister of Agriculture, Natural
Resources, Livestock, and Fisheries said that rice
production has increased from 33,655 tonnes in 2013 to
39,000 tonnes, this year.
“To us, this
is a very good move and soon we will reduce the amount
of rice we have been importing annually,” the minister
said in an interview.
“One of our
aims is to ensure an increase in local rice production,
at the moment we import 80 percent of total rice
consumed as it is the staple food of the island.”
explained: “Zanzibar has a good climatic condition that
favors rice production, so we’re now focusing on
irrigation as a means to increase rice production.”
cited adoption of the system of rice intensification
(SRI) as the secrete behind the increased rice
production in the archipelago made up of Unguja and
Pemba major islands with 1.4 million people.
more farmers who are adopting the new rice farming
techniques,” he said, adding that the aim is to produce
as more rice as possible; hence stop from importing the
SRI as a redeemer to many farmers in the Indian Ocean
Island as it can produce more than 10 tonnes of rice per
him, the new drive will make the Islands has enough
internal production that can sustain home consumption
and meet foreign exchange earnings that can guarantee
diversification of the economy.
urged farmers to heavily venture into rice farming
because of the readily market from the overgrowing
population and the booming tourism sector in Zanzibar,
which consists of several islands lying off the coast of
East Africa in the Indian Ocean.
kilometres east of the Tanzanian mainland, and six
degrees south of the equator, Zanzibar was once, for the
Arabic and sub-continent traders, the gateway to Africa,
and, with its capital located in the Zanzibar’s stone
town which possessing the world heritage site.