DODOMA-- Production of food crops in Tanzania has improved to 15.9 million tonnes in the 2017/2018 season, enabling the nation to have a surplus of 2.6 million tonnes, said Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa in the capital, Dodoma, on Saturday, when he laid the foundation stone for the construction of silos and granaries at Kizota, on the outskirts of the city.

Having secured a soft loan amounting to 55 million US dollars from the government of Poland, the government is planning to construct silos and grain warehouses in strategic areas of the country to improve the storage of food crops, said the prime minister, who stressed that the government would continue creating an environment for increasing food storage capacity from the current 251,000 tonnes to 700,000 tonnes by 2025.

Initiatives to that end include building the financial capacity for the Ministry of Agriculture through the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA). Others are construction of food processing industries to add value to crops before exporting them, a measure which will also create employment opportunities for Tanzanians.

The government has opened its borders and will continue searching for markets in other countries, including improving crop storage infrastructures by building modern silos and grain warehouses in all areas with high crop production, he said.

He urged farmers and the public to capitalise on the projects where silos and grain warehouse would be constructed by increasing crop production to boost their income, thereby contributing to the country's economic growth. He said the government had invested a large sum of money in the project, and upon its completion, Tanzanian would reap huge benefits.