The Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture has hatched a plan to take over abandoned horticulture estates in the country as a new strategy to boost sector production. The estates, which span into acres of land, have been lying fallow for some years now after investors abandoned them owing to unsettled huge bank debts.
“We have decided that two of the commercial farms will be retaken by the state while the other five will have to wait as they have pending cases in court,” said Hussein Bashe, Tanzania's Agriculture Minister.
Speaking yesterday in Arusha, where the tracks of land are situated, Bashe said that the government would also ensure that terminal benefits amounting to billions of shillings for hundreds of workers forced into redundancy will be paid.
One of these estates is Kilifora which sits on 209 acres in Arusha and which was once leading in the production of exotic flowers for export was owned by a local and foreign investor who benefited from a local bank loan. “Since the loan was not channeled to the intended purpose and the estate closed down, the Ministry of Agriculture will retake it and hand it over to new investors,” said Bashe.
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