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Tanzania exports surplus maize to neighbours

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CORRESPONDENT JOSEPH KITHAMA

AFTER the nation declared itself self-sufficient in food production this seasonal year, it has made a donation of maize to the displaced people in South- Sudan and sold a consignment of maize to the United Nations – World Food Programme (UN-WFP) for its relief operations in the country and war-ravaged Burundi.

A report of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Livestock, has indicated that Tanzania has donated a total of 34,877,690 tonnes of maize to displaced people in South Sudan during 2015/2016 fiscal year, supplied from its National Reserve Food Agency (NRFA) to the Disaster Department in the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Communication Officer for UN WFP in Tanzania, Ms Tala Loubieh, has said the UN Agency bought a total of 11,800 tonnes of maize, partly to feed over 203,000 refugees from Burundi and DRC sheltered in refugee camps in Kigoma region.

Another part of the maize consignment from Tanzania was dispatched to food insecure provinces of Burundi for the consumption of a WFPsupported School Feeding Programme.

The provinces are Ngozi, Muyinga, Kirundo, Bubanza, Cibitoke and Bujumbura Rural, said the WFP’s Communication Officer.

UN-WFP-Tanzania has placed another supply order of 39,000 tonnes of maize, worth over US $15 millions from NRFA to cater for the refugee-population in Kigoma Region, where the number of new refugees influx from Burundi has kept on fluctuating, said Ms Tala Loubieh.

The Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, recently declared in the Parliament that Tanzania is self-sufficient in food by 120 per cent, with a surplus of 2,582,717 tonnes of cereals and noncereals food items nationwide.

Out of 25 Tanzania Mainland’s regions, 9 have produced surplus food during the current fiscal year while NRFA’s stock stood at a total of 65,275,155 tonnes of maize, paddy and millet by last month. The Minister said that the surplus food production has empowered Tanzania to offset food insecurity in 69 district councils.

Over 29,000 tonnes of foodstuffs have been supplied from NRFA to affected districts in Tanzania by last month.

Based on a reliable rainfall pattern, Tanzania expects to harvest a bumper crop in many parts of the country, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has said. If this happens, Tanzania will record a three-consecutive year surplus of food crop production.

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