Tanzania: Cotton Farming Up for ‘Big Boost’


As campaign rallies heat up ahead of the general election next Sunday, CCM Union presidential candidate, Dr John Magufuli, says if elected to power his government will focus on value addition for cotton to allow farmers reap better prices from the cash crop.

“It is through value addition that the cash crop will attract higher prices and improve lives of farmers,” he remarked. Addressing a series of campaign rallies in Mwanza Region yesterday, Dr Magufuli pledged to revamp the ‘white gold’ farming to enable farmers improve their incomes.

“I will make sure that ginneries and textile industries are established to process cotton locally, value addition is crucial to allow the country export finished products as opposed to raw materials. “Tanzania is among leading producers of cotton in the region but it is a pity that we export the cash crop in raw form and import clothes.

It does not make sense for the country to export raw cotton and import garments, most of which is second-hand,” he noted with concern. Should Tanzanians endorse him for the presidency, Dr Magufuli said he will spearhead establishment of industries to process the cash crop locally.

The presidential hopeful made the pledges at different rallies held at Sabasaba Grounds in Magu Constituency, Ngudu Grounds in Kwimba Constituency and finally in Misungwi Constituency. On the campaign trail, the CCM flag bearer held about 19 informal meetings along the campaign trail to address party enthusiasts who lined on the road at different spots.

He as well assured cotton farmers that his government will do its best to provide them with farm inputs and better prices of the ‘white gold’ should he be entrusted to lead the country.

Dr Magufuli said he was aware that there were middle-men in the cotton industry who are fond of cheating farmers by offering pocket-sized prices. “I have always said my government will focus on industrialisation to boost creation of jobs and value addition of raw materials, this will assure farmers of reliable markets and improved incomes,” he stressed.

As early as 08:30 in the morning yesterday, large groups of people had already lined up the roads in Mwanza City, waving and chanting slogans in support of the CCM presidential candidate.

Dr Magufuli is today expected to continue with campaign rallies in Mwanza with meetings scheduled for Buchosa, Geita Rural and Katoro. Meanwhile, CCM union presidential running mate, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, has told youth and women in Sumbawanga to start setting up economic generating plans, as they are set to receive government financial support once CCM is re-elected into office.

Addressing a campaign rally at Nelson Mandela Grounds here over the weekend, Ms Samia told the rally that the fifth government under her party has set up plans that would ensure government financial schemes, including village community banks (VICOBA) and national banks provides soft loans to youth and women to start up businesses.

She stressed the need for the youth and the rest of the people in the area to vote for CCM, pointing out that other political parties have leaders lust for leadership and smelling graft, cautioning that if such parties would make people suffer and regret if given powers to lead the country.

“CCM is well prepared and committed to ensure the youth and women are supported and enabled to conduct their economic generating activities for the betterment of their lives and the nation at large,” she said.

She pointed to the women’s national bank as one among the financial institutions that would fully support women by providing soft loans among other services countrywide. Ms Samia said the fifth government under CCM will ensure the bank receives enough subsidies to enable it provide finance to women.

She reiterated her concern with the need for the youth in Sumbawanga and elsewhere to shun unnecessary acts and start planning on economic generating activities in the area, ready for financial support once CCM is re-elected into office.

Commenting on the development improvement of the people in Sumbawanga, Ms Samia said among the plans in the party’s Ikulu hit list is the improvement of marine transportation in the area and elsewhere in the country by purchasing five ships, among them two ships that would be used in Lake Victoria and the rest in Indian Ocean.

“I would like to urge the youth and women, among the citizenry, to vote for Dr Magufuli and the rest of CCM election candidates,” she said, adding that CCM was the only party with focused and responsible leaders ready to work for the people for rapid development.

On the other hand, the party’s campaign team member, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, told the rally to ensure they make the right decision of choosing the right leaders who would not make them regret in future.

He asked the people to vote for Dr Magufuli and the party’s parliamentary candidate for Sumbawanga Urban, Mr Aeshi Hilaly, saying they were the right people who would oversee improved development for their good future.