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Tanzania Precision Air Services to re-launch flights to Uganda

ARUSHA, Tanzania  (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s privately-owned airline Precision Air Services Plc on Tuesday announced to relaunch flights to Uganda through Entebbe International Airport.

Precision Air’s commercial director, Robert Owusu said in a statement that the airline will operate four flights per week with two direct flights from Dar es Salaam and two via Kilimanjaro Airport.

The official stated that the decision to relaunch flights to Entebbe came after a market study which revealed that there is potential demand for flights between Tanzania and Uganda.

Tickets sale is expected to commence on March 10.

Precision Air suspended flights to Entebbe back in 2013 during the route rationalization process and network restructuring.



Tanzanian president inaugurates Chinese-built ultramodern military airport

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Monday inaugurated Chinese-built state-of-the-art military airport at Ngerengere in Morogoro region.

President Magufuli thanked China for helping Tanzania reconstruct the military airport, said a statement by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam. 

Magufuli said: “China has also assisted Tanzania in the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), the Friendship Textile Mill and a modern football stadium.”

Venance Mabeyo, the east African nation’s Chief of Defence Forces, said the 1970 airport underwent major rehabilitation after it was badly damaged. 

Mabeyo said reconstruction of the military airport began on July 15, 2013, adding that the work cost 68.5 million U.S. dollars.

“The reconstruction involved expanding the runway to enable huge military and commercial aircraft to land and take off,” said Mabeyo.

He added that the military airport was now one of the best airports across the world, adding that huge aircraft such as Boeing 777 could land and take off from the airport smoothly.

The Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Lu Youqing, said the construction of the airport further cemented the relationship between China and Tanzania.

The colorful inauguration ceremony was attended by the First Lady Janet Magufuli, the Minister for Defence and National Service, Hussein Mwinyi and other top government and military officials.


Armyworms destroy maize farms in western Tanzania

ARUSHA, Tanzania, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Armyworms said to have entered Tanzania from neighboring Zambia have destroyed hundreds of hectares of maize planted this year in the country’s western region of Rukwa, authorities said Tuesday.

Nkasi District is the highly affected area in Rukwa Region whose population depends on maize for food and cash.

Authorities in the affected area warned that unless the worm invasion in the area was contained, it would spread to other parts of the country.

The worms’ invasion poses serious food security concerns in the area and the country at large taking into account that Rukwa is one of the regions which are the bread basket of the east African nation.

“We noticed recently that some worms were eating up the leaves of our maize plants. So we told our colleagues that if we don’t spray our farms then we cannot harvest anything. We have sprayed our farms five times already but the worms keep coming back,” said John Pangameza, one of the smallholder farmers in Nkasi District.

He said that many farmers in the area are almost giving up on the fight against the worms.

Permin Matumizi, acting agricultural officer in the district confirmed the invasion, saying that worms have affected almost all farms in the district, noting that efforts by farmers to apply pesticides failed as the army worms don’t respond to pesticides.

The official named the highly affected villages as Itekesya and Ntemba in Kate ward.

He described the pests as dangerous; hence concerted efforts are needed to address the vice, which is threatening food security for the 2017/2018 fiscal year.

“At our district level, we have tried to ensure that pesticides are available, though these kinds of armyworms don’t respond to our pesticides,” he said.

Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries Mathew Mtigumwe said that the government was aware of the presence of new species of army worms in the Nkasi district Rukwa region, which get in the country from neighboring Zambia.

“The ministry’s study shows that the army worms that have stormed Nkasi District are new species known as fall armyworms that hit maize crops,” he said.

“We have been forced to procure new pesticides after we come to notice that the present army worms are new species which cannot be controlled by the available pesticides,” PS detailed.

He said that the government had bought pesticides of about 15,000 liters worth 132,439 US dollars to curb the army worms.

According to him, the government is currently embarking on various initiatives to control the situation in various regions include Katavi, Mbeya and Songwe.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the presence of fall armyworm in Africa was first reported on the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe in January 2016 and spread to Nigeria and Ghana before hitting South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique.


FAO, Tanzania sign four-year pact to improve food security, nutrition

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday signed a Country Programming Framework (CPF) with Tanzania that will help in improving agriculture, food security, nutrition and natural resources management in the country over the next four years.

The signing event was held here between the FAO Country Representative, Fred Kafeero, and Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Eng. Mathew Mtigumwe.

Kafeero said that the framework guides FAO support and partnership with the government of Tanzania from 2017 to 2020 in the context of UN Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP II) 2016-2021.

“It draws lessons from the previous CPF and it takes into account the findings and recommendations of the evaluation of FAO’s contribution to the United Republic of Tanzania 2014-2016. It also seeks to strengthen collaboration with key stakeholders and development partners supporting the government of Tanzania,” he said.

Explaining the UN body’s contribution and expected results under the framework, the FAO Representative highlighted the four mutually reinforcing priorities of the CPF, which include evidence-based agriculture policy, planning, investment and sector coordination; increasing agricultural production, productivity for food and nutrition security; improving market access for increased incomes; and strengthening resilience to natural and man-made threats and crises.

According to Kafeero, the implementation of the CPF is estimated at a minimum of 17.6 million US dollars to be financed through partnerships with development partners, the government of Tanzania, South-South Cooperation programmes and joint One UN programmes.

“Implementation of the priorities will be through working in partnership with central and local governments by specific linkages and coordination with agriculture line ministries; collaboration with non-state actors, the private commercial sector, academia, and research institutions,” he stated.

Mtigumwe commended the FAO support in improving agriculture and natural resources management in the country and pledged full support to the framework.

“Agriculture plays a critical role in our economy and FAO is one of our key partners in improving the sector which remains to be the biggest employer in the country.” he said.



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