AGRICULTURE

by David Brewin

Land Tenure Support Programme
A new land tenure support programme is being helped financially by Britain’s DFID, Sweden’s SIDA and Denmark’s DANIDA. The project will help Tanzanian farmers to have better access to agricultural knowledge, technologies, marketing systems and infrastructure. It will also aim to make Tanzania’s agricultural economy become more productive and profitable.

Tanzania’s current land policy supports the recognition of existing land rights and security of tenure for all and this project is designed to establish a more effective economic and transparent system of land tenure. Under existing legislation, one of the key mechanisms for determining tenure is the division of lands into three categories: village land which is held by the villages and represents approximately 70% of the land mass; reserved land (28%); and, the remainder which is administered by the Minister for Lands.

The project aims to build a basis for resolving the issues that limit the contribution that the land sector can make to achieve the country’s broader development goals. The project will enhance the benefits from large-scale land deals and improve dispute settlement procedures. There will be two pilot districts.

Sugar surplus
At the beginning of this year a new financial problem hit Tanzania’s sugar industry. Large quantities of cheap and illegal sugar imports began to flood the country. The quantity was estimated to be some 100,000 tonnes and the local market was destabilised. By March, Tanzanian sugar producing factories were holding 68,000 tonnes of sugar that they could not sell. In April, Tanzania’s Revenue Authority seized 15 tonnes of contraband sugar from Brazil which had been imported through Bagamoyo.
The situation is complex as the Tanzanian Sugar Board has been quoted in the East African as stating that Tanzania now consumes 590,000 tonnes annually although the country’s four local plants are capable of supplying only 290,000 tonnes. The gap is filled by cheap imports but these appear to have been arriving in excessive quantities recently. President Kikwete has spoken of Tanzania’s plans to build 12 new sugar factories by 2030.

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