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Tanzania Wildlife Authority to auction 3.5 tonnes of hippo teeth   

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania is expected to auction 12,467 pieces of hippopotamus teeth weighing 3.58 tonnes on January 29, official said on Tuesday.

James Wakibara, Acting Director General of the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA), said in a statement that the auction will be held in collaboration with the country’s Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry.

According to statistics from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), since the trade began in 1975, over 770,000 kg of hippo teeth have been traded internationally. And it is estimated that over 75 percent came from two East African countries: Tanzania and Uganda.

Wakibara said that the auction is to be held in the nation’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam on January 29, and the exercise will be supervised by the Ministry of Finance Planning.

“The auction is restricted to accredited traders with the first-class license offered in 2017,” a TAWA official said.

Wkibara informed that interested buyers will be entitled to initial payments of at least 25 percent of the total cost on the same day and settle the remained balance within 14 days.

Tanzania conducted a countrywide census on hippopotamus in 2001 and the result showed there were 20,079 of them.

However, issuance of permits for export of hippo teeth was suspended since 2004 with exception of those obtained through sports hunting.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, which monitors the conservation status of species, classifies hippos as vulnerable because threats of illegal, unregulated trade in their teeth, demand for their meat, and habitat loss are likely to continue.



Southwestern Tanzania intend to re-introduce coffee farming

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Authorities in southwestern Tanzania’s region of Rukwa is planning to re-introduce coffee farming in a move to create sustainable income for farmers who are currently relying on maize, the cereal crop whose price is unpredictable.

Joachim Wangabo, Rukwa Regional Commissioner, said Monday: “We have started encouraging farmers to start planting coffee as an alternative crop from maize.”

“We believe that this crop will transform people’s livelihoods in this area, which has all conditions that favor coffee production,” Wangabo said after inspecting a coffee farm in Kalambo District, Rukwa Region.

According to him, historically, almost all districts in the region were growing coffee, but due to poor investment, the crop disappeared with farmers focusing more on food crops.

He said that it was high time for the farmers to embark on producing the crop for them to improve living conditions.

He also urged agriculture experts to work on educating the farmers on proper ways of growing the crop for better results.

The Regional Commissioner said that Rukwa region has a good weather that also allows growing avocados but the challenge is low awareness among farmers.

He added that, as the country industrialization drive rallies more on the availability of raw materials, so farmers should grab the opportunity and invest their efforts in farms for their development.

“Farmers has a great role in the industrialization agenda. They are the ones who are supposed to increase production of both food and commercial crops to feed the industries that will be established,” he said.

John Sinkala, a farmer from Kalambo district, called upon authorities to train farmers on better farming methods to produce quality raw materials that will meet the demands of the industries.

“What is missed here is lack of skills and knowledge on how to beneficially grow the crop,” he said.



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