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艾利亚斯:坦桑尼亚 “农业绝对不可小觑”

姆万扎(Mwanza)位于坦桑尼亚西北部、维多利亚湖南岸,这里的大学开设了全新的畜牧业课程,居民重视可持续农业发展,渔业现代化程度也有所提高。可是放眼坦桑全国,农业发展仍存在着不少问题

文I 艾利亚斯  坦桑尼亚《公民报》首席政治记者    翻译I 王晓波   

● 农业培训学院

● 农业投资环境受到重视

● 渔业现代化有待提高

● 农业论坛各抒己见

第28届非盟峰会就“通过投资青年,驾驭人口红利”主题进行了讨论。的确,如何让年轻人更好地参与到政治生活和经济建设中,已经成为了非洲各国面临的主要挑战。笔者前不久采访了坦桑尼亚姆万扎地区,那里的农业、渔业和采矿业都非常活跃,是坦桑尼亚最具潜力的经济地带之一。

 

农业培训学院

采访姆万扎地区的农业培训学院(MATIU)时,我发现它的课程设计非常迎合创业精神。校长弗朗西斯·米基拉姆尼先生表示,他们的毕业生有的已经开始在基层创业了,“我希望你有机会可以采访他们,那些人会告诉你农业绝对不可小觑”。

作为坦桑尼亚最古老的农业研究机构,MATIU的课程也在不断发展。该学院于1939年1月在殖民时代开始授课,对象主要是各级官员。在那个特殊年代,国家粮食安全是主要目标。因此如何确保全国的食物供应是其重要课程。

但现在,该学院在禽畜饲养业方面增设了相应的课程,这可以帮助农民得到高品质的皮革。要知道,之前因为皮革加工业萎靡,不仅大量动物皮毛被非法出口,就连建国时成立的9家国营皮革加工厂也倒闭了7家,年轻人就业机会也相应减少。

 

农业投资环境受到重视

姆万扎地区,东非国家粮食作物的主产区,并因其一直从事的跨境贸易而闻名。

采访中,我能感受到的一个明显变化就是,这里的人们开始考虑构建可持续发展的农业,尽可能不要再使用造成减产和污染的农药。水葫芦(一种繁殖速度极快的浮水植物,生长时会消耗大量溶解氧,造成水质恶化)很大程度上就是由农药造成的,特别是种植棉花时使用的滴滴涕(DDT)和硫丹农药。

此外,林业生物质发电在这一地区也开始落地,对农业发展有利的投资不仅可以改善许多当地人的生活环境,也能够减少他们的债务负担。

 

渔业现代化有待提高

采访Kirumba-Mwaloni鱼贸市场时,负责接待我的官员卡萨瓦先生介绍,坦桑尼亚还没能从捕鱼业中获益,这主要是因为缺乏可持续的渔业发展战略以及将鱼制作成罐头出口的技术。

他进一步介绍说,虽然现在国家在使渔业走向现代化方面已经做了不少努力,但仍有许多有待提高的地方,比如完善储存条件,确保围绕维多利亚湖的所有东非国家禁渔期能够至少3个月等。“统一禁渔期实际上并非政治问题,可现在它的落实却需要通过外交对话解决,这样才能避免因拖船引发纠纷”。

至于产量,他透露说每年东非地区从淡水中捕捞的沙丁鱼干平均可以达到46.1吨,它们通常被叫做“dagaa”;此外还可以从尼罗河捕获1631.13吨的鲈鱼,即很知名的“sangara”。

卡萨瓦先生说,该鱼贸市场所售的沙丁鱼中有70%是供人享用,另30%则是作为鸡饲料。这种鱼的消费市场遍布几乎整个东非和中非地区,因为对鸡饲料的需求一直在增长,尽管除沙丁鱼,它还需要添加豆饼和其他动物饲料。肯尼亚对它作为家禽饲料的需求最大,因此将他们运输到那里就是变得尤其重要。总体说来,他对市场所雇用的大部分人员都感到满意,包括捕鱼作业人员和运输人员,但是市场只愿意雇用年轻人从事搬运工作。

他还告诉我,该市场捕捞的鱼每天可以满足2500〜3000人的需要,并且能够使该地区政府一年增加6.12亿坦桑尼亚先令的收入,相当于27.32万美元。这笔收入的一部分会用于市场维护,包括支付水电费用以及确保市场的环境卫生和秩序。他肯定地说,“如果基础设施和渔具的质量能得到进一步改善,渔业能够为渔民和整个国家都带来更多的收益”。

布博瓦是当地一位渔业官员,他证实了卡萨瓦的说法。同时还指出,晾晒沙丁鱼的过程也需要技术改进,因为直接把沙丁鱼晾在沙滩上会使它的品质受到影响,而且雨季的时候这一做法更是不可能的。

坦桑尼亚收获茶叶的茶农(CFP)


农业论坛各抒己见

今年1月末,坦桑尼亚在达累斯萨拉姆英国议会厅召开过一次论坛,专门讨论农业怎样为国民经济发挥更大作用。

主办方负责人卢孔戈在发言中说到,这些年来,坦桑尼亚进口的外国农产品,其实完全可以在本国内组织生产。讲到这里他还举出了几个实例,证明国家在这方面受到的损失,“仅2014年一年,坦桑尼亚就因为决策不当损失了1390万美元。如果这样的局面能得到扭转,可以为67%的人口提供就业机会。此外,85%的生腰果被直接卖到境外,这就使国家失去了在加工环节可以赚取的收入。他呼吁有关机构能够在农业方面提供更多的大数据,让坦桑尼亚民众知道并且鼓励他们喜欢上自己国家的农产品。此外,他还强调银行业也要发挥作用,为农户们提供小额贷款。这样做的同时,相关的法律、规定和政策都需做出相应的修改。

作为私营企业基金会的总裁,西姆贝耶先生同样对现状有不满,他认为虽然在农业投资方面出台了许多政策和方案,但它们并没有得到有效落实。他还列举了坦桑尼亚命名为Kilimo Kwanza(斯瓦希里语,意为农业优先)方案的例子——“我甚至看不到它可能在近期内有实施的任何迹象。”西姆贝耶建议坦桑尼亚将农业加工业作为新型工业的侧重点,而中央政府则有责任为其提供便利的环境,并且颁布税收优惠的规定。但这也需要得到坦桑尼亚食品药品管理局(TFDA)的协助,它应当允许小厂商们能够参与其中,但同时要对它们的卫生条件和产品质量进行严格监督。

坦桑尼亚南部农业增长走廊组织的负责人肯伊加先生也作了发言。他认为,坦桑尼亚有着很理想的农业生产区,比如南部地带和坦桑尼亚沿海区域,他的机构为此做了大量工作。他说,“这些区域的生产占到全国粮食产量的1/3,我的机构重点关注了农业的可持续发展,我们已经做好准备,愿与国内外对此感兴趣的各方进行合作。”他特别强调了生产高品质的食品和关注粮食及商业作物的市场需求,对私营部门展开了批评,认为它们甚至不愿设法生产动物饲料,导致大部分的动物饲料竟然要从别国进口,而实际上它们完全可以在坦桑尼亚境内生产。

退休教授马斯卡·汉斯提议改善小规模产业的现状,从而提升坦桑尼亚的食品装罐能力,与此同时也要扭转人们的消费模式。不过他也警告说,在这一领域存在着腐败现象,有些人刻意压制当地生产,为的就是从国外进口产品。

看得出,坦桑尼亚目前农业的发展,有机遇的欣喜,亦有挑战的压力。


Prospects and Challenges in Tanzania’s Agricultural Sector 

By Elias Mhegera,Political Correspondent from The East African & The Citizen
Photo Provided by Elias Mhegera

Amajor challenge on the African continent ishow to integrate youngsters fully into the political economy. I visited theMwanza region, ripe with agricultural, fishing and mining activities, anddeemed as one of Tanzania’s upcoming economic zones.

At the Ministry of Agriculture TrainingInstitute Ukiriguru (MATIU) its curricula is designed to cater toentrepreneurship to combat the dwindling employment opportunities of recentyears. Principal, Mr. Francis Mkiramwinyi boasts that his institute’s graduateshave already begun setting new precedents in the community, boasting “formerstudents who have shown that agriculture cannot be underestimated.”

As the oldest agricultural institute inTanzania, MATIU’s curriculum continues to evolve to meet the new demands ofentrepreneurship. The Institute began offering courses in January 1939 duringthe colonial era with national food security being its main objective. Todayprograms go well beyond hedging against famine.

A program training students in livestockkeeping and animal husbandry has been augmenting the local supply of hides.This program is intended to make a significant impact on Tanzania’s weakeningleather processing industry. Due to a scarcity of high quality hides and massexportations (many of which are illegal) of raw materials, only two tanneriesoperate out of the nine that were established at the start of the nation’sindependence in 1961. The remaining working plants are ACE Leather in Morogororegion and Himo Tanneries in Tanga. But with only two plants the prospects ofemployment, especially for youths, is correspondingly also diminished. This iswhat makes MATIU’s program so progressive. By pairing

The MATIU however, is not alone in curbingthis trend. The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development is pursuinglegal suits against the mass exportations of not only hides but also fish.

According to Mr. Phineas Kauswa PrincipalFisheries Officer, Kirumba-Mwaloni Fish Market has yet to benefit fully fromthe fishing business mainly because of shortages in the sustainable fishingstrategies and canning of fish for exportation.

Although there have been efforts tomodernize the market, Kauswa suggests greater strides could be made if for atleast three months out of the year, the countries surrounding Lake Victoriawere suspended from fishing.

“This is a technical rather than politicalmatter but its implementation needs diplomatic dialogue in order to avoidtug-of-wars,” he asserts.

Concerning the fish yields from the lake heexplains that his market receives an average of 46.1 metric tons of dried freshwater sardine popularly known as ‘dagaa’ for the whole of East Africa, but also1,631.13 metric tons of Nile perch (‘sangara’) per annum.

The market serves 2,500 up to 3,000 peoplein a day and earning the Ilemera District Council over TZS 612 million in ayear (USD $ 273,215.16). Part of this revenue is used for the sustainability ofthe market including covering electricity and water bills apart from keepinghygienic conditions in good order.

“But the industry could earn more incomeboth for the fishers and the nation at large with more investment in supportiveinfrastructure like fishing gears.”  

Fisheries Officer, Mr Williadius Buberwaechoes this sentiment, explaining that the drying process demands technologicalimprovements because laying down sardines on sands reduces the quality, butalso becomes practically impossible during rainy seasons.

But apart from fishing and livestock in theMwanza region food crops remains a major source of cross border businesses.According to the 2015 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of theUnited Nations, 73 percent of the population lives in rural areas and about 3.7million smallholdings make up 80 percent of total farms. In total, agriculturecomprised 28 percent of total Tanzanian GDP.

Thus, any investments in agriculture willhave a direct impact on the lives of many Tanzanians as well as the nationaleconomy.

The most important aspect to be consideredin this industry is establishing sustainable agriculture; namely, getting ridof agrochemicals, which in actuality reduce yields and cause land and waterpollution. For this reason, investment should consider green houses or gardenvillage Infrastructure, agro-forestry, regenerative agriculture and renewableresource biomass forestation project.

As for economic impact, discussions andresearch in the bid to improve agriculture in Tanzania are already takingplace. At the end of January a debate convened by the Policy Forum, discuss thecontribution of agriculture to the national economy.

Mr Audax Lukonge, the executive director ofAgricultural Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF), recently presented a paper on thecontribution of agriculture in Tanzania in January. His organization isinvolved in several active engagements and studies on ways to revamp Tanzania’seconomy through agriculture.

Speaking at the British Council hall in Dares Salaam, Mr Lukonge explains Tanzania loses much of its revenue throughimportation of agricultural products, which could be produced within thiscountry. He recounted that in “2014 alone Tanzania lost over USD $ 13.9 milliondollars.”

Lukonge encourages utilizing public –privatepartnership in the same way we have seen in Kenya and Mozambique.

The Director for Small and MediumEnterprises (SMEs) in the Ministry of Industry and Trade Dr. Consolata Ishebabiagrees, saying that the best way to revamp agriculture in Tanzania is to runjoint venture through private and public partnership both with local andforeign investors. She over emphasized on the role of small producers.

Moreover, Lukonge emphasizes an increasedrole of the banking sector in providing soft loans to farmers, as well as bigloans to food processors in order to assist them in the bid to export cannedfood and bolster job creation.

This attention towards revisiting laws,regulations and policies in the sector is not new. Mr Godfrey Sembeye,CEO-TPSF, critiqued this trend whereby there are a lot of policies and plans inareas to do with agriculture, livestock keeping and investment that are not putin action.

Sembeye recalls Tanzania’s green revolutionblue print, Kilimo Kwanza of 2005. “Since 2005 we kept on hearing about this,and in 2009 there was a good writing on the plan which circulated all overTanzania but nothing has been put to practice to this moment,” hecommented.  

Sembeye advises that it is the duty of thecentral government to provide an enabling environment for business, thusinvestors ought to pay close attention to the current policy architecture toensure that they can indeed realize returns on investment.