THE National Service (JKT) is planning to have food storage warehouses in all its camps across the country to ensure proper storage and guarantee food security for the army and the country in general.
According to the JKT Secretary of Strategic Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Committee, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lushika, the National Service is working on the plan in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.
He also said that the army is implementing a robust project to have industries for processing raw materials from its camps which are engaging in agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
Following the directives from the government that JKT should put in place measures to ensure that it produces sufficient food to feed its servicemen and women, the Chief of National Service (CNS), Major General Charles Mbuge, formed a committee on Strategic Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries which started working on agriculture in November 2019, he said.
Speaking at Mlale Camp (842 KJ) in Songea, Ruvuma Region, Col Lushika who also doubles as the Director of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries said apart from storing food, the project will also help in controlling aflatoxins contamination in the crops.
“The army is currently implementing its agriculture project where it is cultivating maize, rice, sunflower, cashewnut and coffee, among others. “We plan to have 28,000 hectors by 2024/2025, therefore, we need to have enough warehouses as well as industries for processing agricultural produces,” said Lt Col Lushika.
At Mlale Camp, JKT has a total of 1,000 hectors of maize which are expected to be harvested in the next few days, according to Acting Camp Commander, Major Godwin Mapunda.
Major Mapunda was speaking to a team of journalists touring various projects currently being implemented by JKT in different parts of the country. He said said he was expecting to have a bumper harvest as the farm had been well prepared. 842 KJ has also a factory for milling, processing and packaging maize.
“We have also trained our youth volunteers who have now acquired necessary skills that can help them even after the completion of their training contracts,” he added.
Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) Senior Researcher who is also a member of JKT committee on strategic Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Frank Reuben said TARI was making sure that seeds were properly researched as well as the land to be used for cultivation.
“Out of 170 countries cultivating maize, Tanzania is ranked at the 25th position, while in Africa, it is on the fourth position.