Farmer's Voice

Govt urged to support tobacco farmers (Daily News)

Namtumbo MP, Mr Vita Kawawa (CCM) said tobacco earns the country over 230 million US dollars in export proceeds and over 100bn/- in taxes annually. The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives, Mr Adam Malima, told the House that tobacco was an important crop to the country, but farmers were not getting subsidies due to financial constraints.

"The government will consider providing subsidies to farmers later when the situation allows," Mr Malima said. In the main question, Mr Victor Mwambalaswa (Lupa - CCM) had wanted to know when would the government start subsidizing tobacco farmers. He said the support being given to coffee, cotton and cashew growers should be extended to tobacco farmers as well to encourage them boost productivity.

Mr Malima admitted that supporting cotton farmers has made them increase output from 163,644 tonnes in 2010/2011 financial year to 226,938 tonnes in 202011/2012.

He, however, said that there were various challenges in the exercise including having to deal with dishonest agents, distribution of poor quality fertilizers and seeds. The deputy minister said that the government was addressing the challenges and would soon find solutions.

in Daily News Online Edition published on 13 June 2012