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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Tanzanian president calls for more investment in sugar production

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Wednesday called for more investment in sugar production to meet local and regional market demands.

The Tanzanian leader made the call when addressing a public rally in the northwestern region of Kagera.

He said if local producers increased their investment and enhanced production to satisfy the local market, the government would effectively ban the importation of sugar.

Magufuli said the national demand per year stands at 450,000 tons while local factories’ production capacity is 320,000 tons, leaving the country with a deficit of 130,000 tons which must be imported.

He said Tanzania, with a population of 50 million, the East African Community, 162 million, and the Southern Africa Development Community, 400 million, are all ready markets for sugar and that Tanzanian sugar plants could make huge profits if they invest in higher production capacity.

If both local and foreign investors build more factories and produce quality products that satisfies local market, the government would protect them by discouraging imports from outside the country, he said.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Tanzania urges horticultural product exporters to meet hygienic guidelines

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday urged exporters of horticultural products to meet the mandatory hygienic guidelines required by consumers in global markets.

The authorities said horticultural exports must also be certified by the general agricultural and manufacturing practices guidelines set by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS).

Arusha Regional Administrative Secretary Richard Kwitega told a meeting of stakeholders in the fruit and vegetable sector from Arusha, Coast, Tanga, Manyara, Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro regions that guidelines should be followed to control microbial, chemical and physical hazards associated with all stages of fresh fruits and vegetable value chain.

The one-day meeting was aimed at improving health and safety as well as maximizing the fresh fruits and vegetable value-chain.

Tanzania’s horticultural produce exports last year generated 642 million U.S. U.S. dollars in revenues, up from 383 million dollars in 2012.

“The sector has many challenges but we are successfully penetrating markets,” said Jacquiline Mkindi, CEO of Tanzania Horticultural Association.

She said while the Tanzanian agricultural sector was growing at a rate of 4.8 percent, horticulture registered a growth of 11 percent in the last five years.

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Tanzania to record all water sources for protection

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- A Tanzanian official on Wednesday directed all local government authorities in the country to take an inventory of all water sources for protection.

“The inventory of water sources will help the government to protect them from degradation and improve those that have been affected by human activities,” January Makamba, Tanzania’s Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office responsible for Environment, told the National Assembly in the political capital Dodoma.

He made the remarks as the latest report by the World Bank revealed that water scarcity facing Tanzania could derail the east African nation’s growth and poverty reduction efforts.

“Tanzania needs to urgently improve the management of its water,” said the report launched on Monday in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

In its report, the World Bank said against the rapidly expanding economy and population in Tanzania, renewable per capita freshwater resources dropped over the past 25 years from more than 3,000 cubic meters per person to around 1,600 today.

“The decline, which is driven by increasing demand for a finite resource, will be likely to continue and reach around 1,400 cubic meters per person by 2025, well below the 1,700-cubic meter per person threshold that defines water stressed countries,” said the report.

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Tanzania’s inflation drops to 5.1 pct in October

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s annual inflation rate dropped to 5.1 percent in October from 5.3 percent recorded in September, Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The NBS attributed the drop of the index to the food prices decline.

The food and non-alcoholic drinks inflation rate, which has the largest weight in the basket of items used to calculate Tanzania’s inflation, decreased to 8.8 percent in October from 9.3 percent recorded in September.

According to the statement, the 12 month index change for non-food products decreased slightly to 3 percent in October from 3.1 percent recorded in September.

Month-on-month inflation fell by 0.1 percent in October compared to an increase of 0.02 percent registered in September.

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Tanzania plans to broaden coverage of social security protection

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania has started a process aimed at broadening social security protection that will help reduce poverty, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Eric Shitindi, permanent secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for labor, youth, employment and persons with disabilities, said the government is reviewing the Social Security Policy.

“The review of the policy will provide room for expansion of the social protection coverage and reduce poverty and vulnerability among Tanzanians,” said Shitindi.

He told a sub-regional workshop on social protection for forest-dependent communities in East Africa held in Dar es Salaam that the proposed national social protection policy will also involve views from all stakeholders before it is adopted by the government by March 2018.

Monica Kagya, principal beekeeping officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, said forest-dependent communities are among the most vulnerable and poor groups in the country.

She said the government is working to ensure that these communities are well educated on how their surrounding forests could benefit and transform their lives if well preserved and utilized.

The workshop, organized by the Forestry Department of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, attracted the participation of government authorities responsible for forestry programs, social protection programs, and forest producer organizations from east and central Africa.

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Explosion kills five school children in North Western Tanzania

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Five schoolchildren died and 45 others injured after being hit by an explosive in northwestern Tanzania’s region of Kagera, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.

Ngara District Commissioner, Michael Mntenjele confirmed the incident, saying one of the pupils of Kihinga primary school which is located along the border with Burundi, may have naively picked the explosive on his way to school in the morning and the children began playing with it outside their classroom before it exploded.

Mariagoreti Fredrick, Chief Medical Officer at Rulenge Mission Hospital where the victims were rushed to, said two of the deceased succumbed to injuries while receiving treatment at the facility while three bodies were brought already lifeless along with the injured.

“We are doing our best to save the lives of patients who have suffered injuries in various parts of the body,” she said.

She added that 13 of the injured were in critical condition and were being attended to at the facility’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Mariagoreti said she could not gather clear information on what exactly happened to the children due to their young age but according to what teachers told her, the incident happened in the morning when the pupils were doing their reading test.

“Teachers told me pupils were outside and they were being called one-by-one to enter the classroom and take the reading test when something exploded outside where they were,” she said.

As for the possible cause of the accident, she said: “The nature of injuries indicates it was explosive, but we are waiting for conclusive results from experts.”

Ngara District Chairman, Erick Nkilamachumu said it is believed one of the deceased children picked the explosive on the roadside while going to school and his friends toyed with it as they waited for their turn to do the exam before it burst.

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Lightning kills three students in south-westernTanzania

ARUSHA, Tanzania(Xinhua) -- Three students died and one survived after being hit by lightning in south-western Tanzania’s region of Songwe, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Christopher Kafuru, head of Ndyuda Secondary School, said that the killed were all pre-form one students at the school located in a small town of Mlowo in Mbozi District, Songwe Region.

Kafuru said the incident occurred on Tuesday at around 4:30 p.m. (local time) when the students were playing outside the classrooms when the lightning hit the area.

“They were four students and one of them survived the tragic incident and is the one who informed teachers on the accident,” the official said, adding that the victims were rushed to the nearby hospital, and it was confirmed that the children were already dead.

Acting Songwe Regional Police Commander, Yusuph Sarungi confirmed the incident, describing the incident as the first one to happen this year.

Sarungi advised the public in the district which is famed for growing coffee and maize not to swim or take shelter under trees during storms as some trees were more likely to attract lightning than others.

He said Mbozi is one of the most lightning-prone areas around the south-western part of the east African nation, cautioning residents to be extra careful during the rainy season.

Fatalities during lightning storms are common in northwestern regions of Tanzania during its two rainy seasons, which typically occur in October to November and March to April. 

             

 

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