Ministry of Industries and Trade and the Dodoma based Rural Livelihood Development Programme (RLDP) have organised a two-day market development forum (NMDF) to be held next week.
A statement issued by the programme, said the purpose of the forum is to share results and experiences in the field with wider market audience.
The forum is to be held in Morogoro from February 28 to March 1 this year and is expected to bring together various stakeholders including development partners, private sector (processors, buyers, and sellers) farmers, as well as representatives of government ministries and agencies.
This year’s NMDF theme is ‘Awakening the spirit of the private sector actors for sustainable agricultural production’ aimed at addressing many of the marketing huddles faced by farmers in the country.
There are many challenges facing the marketing system in the country which need collaborative efforts to eliminate them. Experts say such initiatives would enable the producers and manufacturers to enjoy more benefits from their produce.
However, Professor Faustine Bee of the Moshi University College of Cooperative and Business Studies (MUCCOBS) was optimistic that with collaborative concerted efforts, they could enhance the markets for agricultural produce and in the process, improve the lives of many rural dwellers.
He also listed market research services, good infrastructure and close collaboration between the public and the private sector as some of the areas that need special attention in the course of improving the market systems.
To achieve this, the professor called for good economic policies, strengthening of entrepreneurial knowledge on marketing and increasing access to credit facilities.
RLDP is a Swiss government funded programme working to improve the livelihood of farmers in the central corridor. It operates in seven poverty stricken semi arid regions of and aims to reduce rural poverty in those areas by linking producers and processors with the market.
The programme is addressing constraints in three crop sub sectors, cotton, sunflower and rice. Also they deal with Gender and Livelihood, Rural Advisory Services as well as the set up of a Rural Women Radio that allows for information dispersion that is vital in the marketing process.