Tuesday, October 20, 2015

On 5:41 AM by Shambani Solutions   3 comments


As Tanzania heads to the ballots on 25th October 2015, members of the Network of farmer groups in Tanzania, MVIWATA (Mtandao wa vikundi vya wakulima Tanzania) by recognizing their role as main feeders of the nation and their majority (80% of the population) met on 8th and 9th October to discuss their expectations in the coming elections. The discussion aimed at raising important issues concerning smallholder farmers that should be incorporated in the various agendas of the different political parties. Farmers urged that their majority also makes the majority of the voters hence their views needed to be heard.
The meeting was attended by representatives of farmers from various regions of the country, MVIWATA partner organizations, Government Institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations.
The Regional Commissioner of Morogoro, Dr. Rajab Rutengwe who officiated the meeting, emphasized that the election provides a chance for the farmers to elect leaders that will help solve challenges faced by farmers such as; access to good quality inputs and finance, land ownership and land disputes, reliable markets as well as lack of farmers involvement in establishment of agriculture policies.
In summary, the following was discussed and agreed by farmers
• Since the future of the smallholder farmers depend on the next Government, MVIWATA members will show up in big numbers to vote considering their expectation and not on the confluence of the various parties
• MVIWATA to strengthen the network of farmers in all regions of Tanzania
• The Green Revolution in Agriculture Program only favours the commercial farmers, hence the Government is urged to change the program and focus on small scale farmers who are the majority.
• The Government was urged to solve the land disputes that exists between farmers and herders to avoid loss of lives, destruction of water sources and environment
• Farmers experience and knowledge should be valued and should be developed further through participatory research
• In order to implement the green revolution policy, markets should be built in the villages where farmers will trader directly with buyers to avoid middlemen who are unfair to the farmers in terms of quality and prices of the produces and build processing plants owned by the Government and farmers.
Lastly, farmers agreed that they will support a party/ parties and candidates that will show a firm commitment in removing an oppressive system and who will cooperate with farmers to create a system that will work for the farmers in the above mentioned issues to develop agriculture in the country.
MVIWATA also used this meeting to plan for 2016 and the priority was given to strengthening farmers groups and networks to increase their lobbying power.
AgriProFocus was honoured to be invited to this one of a kind meeting that aimed at shaping the future of Small holder farmers. We wish MVIWATA and its members a productive 2016 in implementing its plans.
Seemoreat:http://agriprofocus.com/post/561b7d78a93f257db789e77c#sthash.73qNkZy1.dpuf

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