Contributing to the Second Five-Year National Development Plan (2016/17 – 2020/21) and national budget estimates for the 2020/2021 fiscal year yesterday, the lawmakers said completion of flagship projects including the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will ensure smooth transportation of cargo.
Kigoma South MP (CCM) Hasna Mwilima urged the government to fast-track construction of SGR and other viable projects such as the Mchuchuma coal project, Liganga iron ore project, Kurasini logistics centre and the Bagamoyo special economic zone.
“The SGR project will take too long with local funding. The government should secure loans to timely complete implementation of the remaining phases,” she said.
Joseph Kasheku, Geita Rural (CCM) argued that construction of ICDs in Dodoma will, apart from facilitating cargo to neighbouring land locked countries, boost city revenues.
“With ICDs in Dodoma, transit goods from Dar es Salaam port transported through SGR will be kept and picked from there…this will stimulate the economy of Dodoma,” he said.
Mafinga Urban legislator, Cosato Chumi (CCM) advised that in order to meet the country’s sugar demand, the government should invest in small projects instead of implementing the mega Mkulazi project in Morogoro.
“The small projects will require little capital and hence stand to be timely completed,” he said.
He remarked that construction of rural roads will stimulate economic growth through facilitating the movement of people, goods, crops and fertilizers, urging the government to allocate enough funds for the Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA).
Ileje MP Janeth Mbene (CCM) said investing more in agriculture and the livestock sub-sector will boost economic growth.
The processing of agricultural products locally would enable farmers to fetch good prices, so the government requires at least 1trn/- to constructing small processing industries for agro-products, she asserted.
“Let us make use of the private sector to stimulate agriculture. The government should take measures to protect local products,” she emphasized, underlining that this is done all over the world.
Joram Hongoli, Lupembe MP (CCM) said: “There is need for more investment in agriculture, processing and marketing of agro-based goods. More emphasize should be put on strategic cash crops such as tea and coffee.”
Since there is a challenge of infrastructure, the government should construct roads to ease transportation of crops, he said, noting that delays in transportation make crops lose quality and thus fetch low prices.
Special Seats MP,Martha Umbula (CCM) said despite that the agriculture sector contributes 28 percent to the national economy, it is growing by just 3.3 percent per annum.