Kikwete to open EA agricultural forum

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete will mid this month officially open a major regional agriculture conference.
The Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) annual general meeting is expected to be held between May 13 and 14 this year in Dar es Salaam and attended by about 200 foreign participants from 14 countries. 
The conference which will gather participants mostly from southern Africa is to focus on current agricultural financing arrangements and debate appropriate ways to grow agriculture production in the future.
The event is being hosted by the Agriculture Council of Tanzania.  Speaking to East African Business Week last week, the SACAU Chief Executive Officer, Ishmael Sunga said participants will meet during the SACAU annual general meeting.
Sunga said they want to transform the agriculture sector to a higher level in such a manner that it is broad based, growth -oriented and enterprise development driven.
“In the meeting, the stakeholders will discuss, among the other things, how to find out types of agriculture that will transform farmers’ life from poverty to commercial,” Sunga said.
The meeting will also update farming leaders on selected key agricultural-related initiatives.  It will also provide information regarding the global supply and demand projections of key agricultural commodities and highlight the opportunities and threats facing farmers and agribusiness.
Sunga said the gathering will have a session challenging conventional agricultural development approaches which tend to focus mainly on food security. This is because every farming enterprise regardless of its size aspires to grow and prosper.
While Kikwete is expected to inaugurate the meeting, Premier Mizengo Pinda will give the closing remarks. SACAU is a regional farmers’ organization that was established in 1992. Its membership is open to national farmers’ unions and regional commodity associations in Southern Africa.

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