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Tanzania private sector urges govern-
ment to reduce tax to boost business

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) on Sunday urged the government to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) from the current 18 percent to 16 percent in effort to improve business environment.

Valency Mutakyanirwa, TPSF’s director of operation, made the appeal in the country’s capital Dodoma during stakeholders meeting to discuss national business environment.

He said TPSF constantly appeal to the government to see how best to reduce VAT so as to allow business community and investors to have conducive business environment.

“Despite the government reduction of VAT from 20 to 18 percent, we appeal for further reduction to at least 16 percent for more improved business environment,” he said, adding that the current Tanzanian government has shown the right directive through the Blueprint but a lot more need to be done.

According to him, the Blueprint lays down the foundation for the Fifth Phase Government’s resolve to achieve an industrial economy for Tanzania.

It states a key task in this regard is to enhance a conducive business environment by carrying out holistic regulatory reforms.



Tanzania develops 16 new drought, disease tolerant banana varieties

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) on Thursday announced 16 new banana varieties, which are resilient to drought and diseases, billed to revolutionize the crop in the east African nation.

Daud Mbongo, a researcher from Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) of Uyole center in south-western Tanzania’s region of Mbeya, said that the banana varieties were developed by local researchers in three banana-producing regions of Mbeya, Kilimanjaro and Kagera.

He confirmed that the trait of the 16 varieties is high productivity compared to traditional varieties being planted in various parts of the country.

“The varieties have proved to be resilient to banana diseases and can grow in difficult weather conditions,” he said, when briefing journalists in Mbeya Region.

Ashraf Mgenzi, a researcher from TARI-Maruku centre in western Tanzania’s region of Kagera, said the study took place in the three research farms owned by TARI in the three predominantly banana-producing regions.

“We have eaten the bananas here to feel the taste; it’s great,” he said.

Tulole Bucheyeki, Director of TARI-Uyole centre, described the new varieties as a huge relief to farmers because of proven increased yields and resistance to disease and dry weather.

“The varieties have proven to yield bunches weighing between 50 and 60 kilogrammes and that means more food and more money,” Bucheyeki said.

Mariana Cheja from TARI-Uyole, who was among participants who tasted the new fruits, said farmers in the banana-producing regions in particular and Tanzanians in general have a reason to smile because unlike other crops, banana is both food and cash crop.

“Increased productivity proved in this study plus the resilience to disease and harsh climate, the main setbacks to farmers in the country, mean improved food security and enhanced economies of farmers,” Cheja remarked.



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