Wednesday, 16 October 2013

TZ ranks poorly in food security index

In Summary
Analysts say Tanzania’s food security problem is not due to scarcity but because of poor infrastructure and poverty that makes its distribution a challenge.

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania ranks very low globally in the food security index even as the world celebrates the World Food Day today.
The country ranks at number 95 out of 107 countries surveyed in the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2013 conducted by The Economist.
The survey shows that among East African countries, Tanzania which scored 29.4 points out of 100, is behind Uganda and Kenya while beating Rwanda and Burundi.
Uganda is leading positioned at 77 with 38.3 per cent, Kenya at 80 with 36.4 per cent, Rwanda at 96 with 29.3 per cent and Burundi at 103 with 26.3 per cent.
The GFSI report shows US is the leading country with 86. 8 per cent followed by Norway 86.5 and France 83.7 while the last country is the Democratic Republic of Congo with 20.8 per cent followed by Chad (22.1 per cent) and Togo 22.7(per cent).
In addition, the government’s preliminary evaluation which was conducted in 25 regions between July and August, this year, shows that 63 districts in 19 regions of Tanzania mainland face a shortage of food despite President Jakaya Kikwete assuring the country on Monday that no citizen will die of hunger.
Mr Kikwete said that currently the government, through the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA), has collected 209,000 tonnes and expected to collect 250,000 tonnes in the current financial year. “We want to collect 400,000 tonnes by 2015,” he said
Postponing the 12th parliamentary meeting in Dodoma last month, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda told the august House that nine regions were the most affected. They included Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Tabora, Arusha, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Singida, Kilimanjaro and Mara
He noted that about 17 regions have adequate food. Among them, eight regions of Rukwa, Katavi, Mbeya, Ruvuma, Iringa, Kagera, Geita and Njombe have produced surplus food during the 2012/13 season.
Analysts say Tanzania’s food security problem is not due to scarcity but because of poor infrastructure and poverty that makes its distribution a challenge.
The executive director of Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (Ansaf), Mr Audax Rukonge, yesterday told The Citizen that many regions produce surplus food but a poor infrastructure network leads to shortage of food in unproductive areas which results to hunger.
He added that though the African Union, through the 2003 Maputo Declaration on agriculture, professed to allocate 10 per cent of the national budget in agriculture, Tanzania has not been doing so.