TANZANIA is among the African countries that have proper and modern infrastructure that facilitates economic growth within Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states.
Improved infrastructure supports the development of the agricultural sector to ensure food security in the country and the region at large.
Mr Domingo Gove, the Director of food, agriculture and natural resources with the SADC secretariat, said yesterday that Tanzania was among African countries that had managed to invest in infrastructure for the betterment of the country’s economy and that of the region.
He said Tanzania had improved road networks, ports, airports and railway lines, which were key components of regional integration. “Tanzania is doing great in this area of infrastructure, improvement of infrastructure contributes to the development of the SADC economy and facilitates regional integration,” he noted.
He said SADC promotes trade in all agricultural products and ensures food security in all 16 member countries. “We work as one in all countries. If there is a certain programme in Tanzania, we ensure the programme is harmonised in Namibia,” he noted.
Mr Dove, who heads the SADC food security, agriculture and natural resources directorate, was giving an overview on how SADC addressed issues related to food security, agricultural production and natural resource issues in the 16 SADC member countries.
Commenting on the state of food security in the SADC region, Mr Dove said there was a shortage of rains in the last agriculture season in most SADC member countries and that the situation had led to food shortages.
“It is obvious we had a difficult time in the last season, therefore, we are experiencing shortage of food in some countries,” he said.
He added that some countries such as Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi and Comoros were affected by cyclone Kenneth, which also affected agricultural production in the countries.
He said SADC member countries were aware of the situation and some measures were being taken to solve the problem.
“Some countries such as South Africa and Zambia have some food balance, but it won’t be enough to supply to other countries,” he said.
According to Mr Dove, the SADC secretariat was in control of the situation and that a chain of action needed to be launched immediately to address the situation.
“Early warning units are aware and all countries with deficits are taking measures to ensure there are no big problems,” he said. Commenting on the responsibilities of his directorate, Mr Dove said his office ensured harmonisation of food and agricultural policies as well as food security and nutrition.
“You can ensure food security but that food may not be nutrient,” he said.
According to Mr Dove, his office also addresses the issue of food security on a wider scale by involving fisheries, livestock and agriculture as a whole.