Plans are on the cards for the construction of the 358 kilometer tarmac road from Mtwara-Newala-Masasi to Songea in Ruvuma region, the government has announced.

However, currently the government through the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) is working to open the road while remaining on gravel grade.

Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Godfrey Kasekenya told parliament that once the road is opened, the government will mobilize funds to develop the project.

“Tanroads continues to work on the road by constructing bridges and culverts. So far, a total of 208 kilometers have been opened,” the deputy minister said.

He added that on April 11 this year, the government signed a contract for the construction of a 120 meter bridge at Mbangala crossing the road in question.

The Deputy Minister was answering a question from the deputy of Nanyamba, Abdallah Chikota (CCM) who sought to know the government’s plans to build the road at tarmac.

The lawmaker said he was of the view that the road is crucial for the economy as well as keeping the people of the southern region safe.

In a further development, Deputy Agriculture Minister Anthony Mavunde said the government was considering tabling various amendments to the Food Safety Act Number 10 of the Year 1991 to enable the Grains Regulatory Authority and other products (COPRA) to oversee the development of the horticulture sub-sector.

The Food Safety Act Number 10 of 1991, among others, established the Grains and Other Products Regulatory Authority (COPRA).

The Deputy Minister was responding to a question from Njombe Urban MP, Deodatus Mwanyika, who sought to know the government’s plans to modernize the horticultural sector in the country.

Mr. Mavunde said the government is aware of the importance of the horticulture sector for the economic growth of individuals and at the national level.

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