Dodoma — THE government plans to introduce a national marketing intelligence unit under the Ministry of Agriculture which will be responsible for searching, coordinating and connecting farmers to their produce markets.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the minister, Mr Japhet Hasunga, said the unit will bring into a one stop centre all government departments and institutions which in one way or another address the farmers and marketing issues.
“We held a three day meeting that brought together all crops boards and responsible public institutions and we agreed that a unit should be formed with immediate effect for the improved welfare of our farmers,” he said.
Mr Hasunga said that they agreed that come June this year, the unit should be operational and also involves the ministry of industries, trade and investment through Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade).
The minister said the unit must know the actual crop production volumes and their geographical location, know the local market consumption and market price so that farmers and the marketers will be availed with the full data and links for them to act. He said the meeting which was held from December 28 to 30th last year crafted a number of strategies for improving the agricultural sector which is an engine for driving an industrial economy.
Other strategies, he said, include mobilizing farmers on the proper use of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs for improved quality of crop and increased productivity. ” There are a number of complaints that our extension officers do not deliver to the requisite standards; therefore we have come out with work modalities that will make them spend more time in the fields than offices,” he said.
Moreover, the minister said they are intending to increase sugar production from the current 307,000 tonnes to 450,000 tonnes compared to the actual needs of 600,000 tonnes a year. Mr Hasunga said as for coffee sales they are in the final stages of changing the current system whereby the sale is through auction in Moshi only, to allow coffee farming regions to conduct auctions too.
As for cotton, the minister said plans are to increase production from 322,000 kilogrammes per year to 450,000 kilogrammes and in three years’ time to hit a onemillion kilogrammes target a year. They will also come up with farmers’ database; work which will be completed within six months so as to know the capacity of each and plan accordingly .
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Publish date : 2019-01-04 14:21:27