‘Only agriculture will help country become middle income economy’

18May 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Morogoro
The Guardian
‘Only agriculture will help country become middle income economy’

THE Vice Chancellor for Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) Ambassador Costa Mahalu has said if the country is to achieve the middle income status by 2025, there is a need for media to collaborate with higher learning institutions in the country to promote agriculture sector.

THE Vice Chancellor for Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) Ambassador Costa Mahalu.

He said the initiative will help farmers to shift from subsistence farming to commercial based.

 

Prof Mahalu made the remarks during the two-day second international conference to discuss the contribution of media in agriculture and environment held in Morogoro as part of the initiative to honour the work done by Nkwambi Ng’wanakilala the founder of the programme on Business Environmental Strengthening for Tanzania Advocacy (BEST).

Fundamental objective of the programme is to inculcate knowledge and skills among Tanzanian journalists to enable them to write investigative articles on business, financial and economical affairs.

He said that the contribution of media in promoting agriculture is still minimal despite the fact that the sector employs more people in the country than other sectors which get more coverage in the media.

“Therefore, media should make sure they play a big role in promoting the sector to bring changes and to enable the country to achieve the middle income strategy,” he said.

The ambassador added that, researchers are also supposed to cooperate with media to enable their research to be known to citizen and influence changes with potential results.

Head of business and administration for SAUT Dr Anne Gongwe said under the Best Dialogue project funded by Denmark government and European Union (EU), they have trained 100 journalists to conduct research on business environment about agriculture in order to facilitate the sector and boost country economy.

Dr Gongwe who is also coordinator for the project, said Tanzania ranks 139 for promoting business environment compared to other country, calling for more efforts by media to promote agriculture sector.

For his part, deputy chairman for Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) Deodatus Balile said in order for the country to prosper and become the middle income country, there is a need for farmers who are 67 per cent to shift from subsistence farming to commercial based farming.

He added that in order for farmers in the country together with investors to run commercial farming effectively, it is important for the available laws to be amended to give mandate to minister responsible to stop foreign market and to prepare procedure by involving the private sectors.

Opening the conference, deputy regional administrative secretary for Morogoro Herman Tesha said it is high time for media to play an extensive role by promoting agriculture sector especially in the currently period where the country is heading to become the middle income country through industrialization strategy.