Tanzania Govt to enhance farmersí access to markets

Posted on : Tuesday , 3rd February 2015

The project will focus on critical industrial location, whereby relevant factories are to be located in places where crops mainly used as raw materials are produced.

Speaking at IFAD National Roundtable workshop on Tanzania’s recent evalutaion of agricultural programmes across the country, the Minister for Agriculture,Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Stephen Wasira, said apart from the current private sector initiatives of putting industries near crop producing areas, the government would also allocate public funded industries to act as the link between the raw materials producers and consumer.
“This well thought out strategy will improve farmers’ access to markets and in turn shoot up their incomes,” he said. Mr Wasira said the ever growing population on the African continent,increasing at 50 per cent, is going up faster than gains in food productivity.
“Without practical action,the continent’s food deficit is projected to increase up to 60 million tonnes in the next 5 years,”he said.
The minister also used the opportunity to highlight an exemplary outgrower farmers’ scheme whose full operation is expected to start in 2015/16,dubbed the Bagamoyo Sugarcane Out-growers’ Scheme (BASOGS).
The scheme is expected to commercialise directly about 2000 smallholder farmers(about 10,000 people) on 3,500 hectares in Bagamoyo District. In this case, the nucleus farmer is the Bagamoyo Eco Energy with 22,000 hectares.
The Outgrower Scheme, which is also under the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), will be cofinanced by African Developemnt Bank and IFAD. SAGCOT is an inclusive, multi-stakeholder partnership to rapidly develop the region’s agricultural potential.
Addressing participants of the workshop, that included development partners, public and private sector, Mr Wasira said the sector is a key driver of social and economic development.
It employs 74 per cent of the population. The minister said GDP growth accruing from the agricultural sector is almost twice as powerful in reducing poverty, then the importance to transform the sector can not be over emphasised.
Mr Wasira said that Tanzania is one of the countries that have been affected by the dynamics of global food market, noting that despite the country’s potential and capacity to produce much of the food crop to feed the neighbouring countries,the grain marketing in the country is not well structured.
He pointed out that lack of marketing infrastructure for grain marketing allows a large number of local and foreign traders operating to the main producing centres during the harvesting season.
“As a result,it prevents farmers from getting better prices due to lack of burgaining power, low transparency and inadequate intreprenuerial services,”he said.
He added that such a situation provides a disincentive to the farmers particularly those in surplus regions to produce more grain,including endangering national food security and denying government revenues.
However, Mr Wasira said that while the government is implementing major reforms through Big Results Now (BRN) and other initiatives to improve the situation,it hopes that the programme to establish strategic market centres and construction of transit storage facilities on border posts as the immediate measure.
He noted that IFAD has since 1977 focused exclusively on rural poverty reduction, working with poor rural populations in developing countries to eliminate poverty.
The minister said IFAD programmes have benefited about 3.4 million households since 1978 to date. Together with other development partners, IFAD has approved about 14 loans worth $360m, corresponding to 48 per cent of the total estimated portfolio of $769m.

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